Queen hails new Queensferry Crossing as "feat of modern engineering"

The Forth Bridges have, since the foundation stone was laid by Thomas Bouch in 1873, been a testament to the evolution of transport infrastructure. 

With the remnants of the original, never finalised, bridge still able to seen from North Queensferry the desire for an efficient east coast route continued until a new bridge design by Fowler and Baker commenced building works in 1883.

At that time the Forth Bridge was world renowned, as the longest cantilever bridge in the world and for being the first large-scale UK structure to utilise steel.

Eventually the needs of the local area evolved and a new bridge was needed - for cars. With building starting in 1958, the Forth Road Bridge was opened in 1964 by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The new bridge was as world renowned as its neighbour, as the first suspension bridge of its kind in the UK and the fourth longest such bridge in the world, being the longest outside of the US.

With various reports as to the reasons, unlike the Forth Rail Bridge the Forth Road Bridge was deemed in 2004 as unable to fill the needs of modern transport in the area, thereby kickstarting the drive behind the £1.35bn project to construct a new bridge, where building started in 2011.

Formally opened on 4 September by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, exactly 53 years after the Forth Road Bridge, the new bridge is like its neighbour bridges quickly becoming world renowned as the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge in the world at 1.7 miles or 2.7km (as of 30 August).

Officially opening the bridge, The Queen said: "The three magnificent structures we see here span three centuries, are all feats of modern engineering and a tribute to the vision and remarkable skill of those who designed and built them."

Named by public vote, Queensferry Crossing will become a motorway in the autumn while the existing Forth Road Bridge will become a public transport corridor carrying buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, the formal opening was honoured by a Red Arrows flypast, a flotilla of boats beneath and first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described the bridge as an achievement for the nation to be proud of.

Overwhelmingly, the hope with the opening of Queensferry Crossing is that for years to come the area will have an effective crossing, no matter what the new transport modes the future may bring.