Interim Client & Outline Design Award
Despite significant investment and maintenance over its lifetime, the Forth Road Bridge is showing signs of deterioration and is not suitable as the long-term main crossing of the Firth of Forth. The Forth Replacement Crossing will safeguard this vital connection in Scotland’s transport network.
By protecting this strategically vital transport link, the Forth Replacement Crossing will secure over 3,000 jobs and economic revenue of £1.3 billion. It will also deliver significant additional economic benefits through the creation of hundreds of jobs and sub-contracting opportunities for local firms, estimated to be worth around £6 billion to Scotland’s economy.
Two major contracts make up the Forth Replacement Crossing project: the upgrading of M9 Junction 1a (£46 to £65 million) and Fife ITS (£14 to £22 million). Both contracts are on track to be awarded in summer 2011.
The project first began when the Forth Replacement Crossing Study was undertaken during 2006 and 2007 to identify the most favourable option for a replacement crossing. Five potential crossing corridors were identified and appraised for suitability according to a range of factors.
Following this study, the Scottish Government determined that the replacement crossing would be a cable-stayed bridge to the west of the existing Forth Road Bridge.
During 2008 Transport Scotland carried out further work to develop the crossing strategy and concluded that the existing Forth Road Bridge could be retained as a dedicated public transport corridor, with the replacement crossing carrying all other traffic.
In November 2009, Scottish Ministers introduced the Forth Crossing Bill to the Scottish Parliament. It contained the Scottish Government’s proposals for the Forth Replacement Crossing and was approved on 15 December 2010. Royal Assent is expected early in 2011, which will then allow the Bill to come into force as the Forth Crossing Act. Construction could then begin later this year, with the bridge opening to traffic in 2016.