Opinion Former Article

Britain’s tallest bridge opens to traffic

Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the Queensferry Crossing on Monday between Edinburgh and Fife. The three tower, cable stayed bridge – said to be the tallest in Britain – spans 2.7km of the Firth of Forth and took six years to build. Construction cost £1.35Bn, around £245M under budget.

The Queen told guests assembled on the bridge that the ceremony was exactly 53 years since she opened its predecessor the Forth Road Bridge. “The three magnificent structures we see here spanning three centuries are all feats of modern engineering and a tribute to the talents, vision and remarkable skills of those who designed and built them,” she said.

Fife Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alan Mitchell told TP Weekly News that the Queensferry Crossing’s opening marks an important boost to the local economy. “Businesses here depend on connectivity into Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. In recent years the former crossing has been too unreliable with various closures and concerns over its long term future.

“This new bridge will help businesses stay connected to existing and potential customers and sends out the message that Fife is open for business.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon remarked at the ceremony that the Queensferry Crossing is the tallest bridge in the UK and features 150,000t of concrete and 23,000 miles of steel cabling. It also required 19 million hours of labour to build.

“But far more important than those statistics are the benefits this bridge will bring,” she said. “It will improve journey times and bring benefits to families and businesses – not just in Fife and the Lothians but across Scotland.”

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