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Project profile | Queensferry Crossing

Queensferry crossing from north viewpoint (2) (3229) 72dpi

The Jacobs Arup Joint Venture has been involved in the Forth Replacement Crossing project since 2007.

The biggest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation, it comprises the delivery of the new Queensferry Crossing, which, at 2.7km, is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world, and 22km of major motorway upgrades.

As Transport Scotland’s lead consultant and delivery partner for construction, the Jacobs Arup JV team comprised 1,400 staff globally, providing more than 1.6M work hours. The scope included scheme definition, sustainable bridge strategy, highway and environmental design, procurement, statutory process, engineering design, project management and construction support.

Queensferry crossing from north approach road (2414) 300dpi (1)

Queensferry crossing from north approach road (2414) 300dpi (1)

The structure incorporates sensors which will flag up maintenance issues

Staff expertise spanned traditional engineering, structural health monitoring, environmental consulting, wind engineering, ship impact studies, stakeholder engagement and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (Breeam) building portfolio management, together with road infrastructure design and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Jacobs Arup JV co-located with Transport Scotland as an integrated Employer Delivery Team (EDT) initially in Transport Scotland’s office in Glasgow in 2008, and at site since 2011, to develop and manage the entire project.

The project has already received three excellence awards from Ceequal, the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering. 

Taking a two bridge strategy

The Jacobs Arup JV saw that bringing the existing road crossing into an integrated “managed crossing scheme” was pivotal to the project’s viability and ultimate user experience. With maintenance, the team determined that the Forth Road Bridge could still be considered for use as a public transport corridor alongside the new bridge. This enabled the new bridge profile to be streamlined, which along with the innovative cable design and the implementation of ITS to reduce the need for significant expansion of the existing road network, allowed the overall scheme budget to be reduced by over £2bn.

Says Euan Scott of Jacobs, the JV’s technical manager, roads:  “With the completion of the Queensferry Crossing, a 22km managed motorway corridor is realised, the first of its type in Scotland. The ITS provides a full incident management and driver information system, together with Scotland’s first ever motorway use of mandatory variable speed limit signalling to be implemented when congestion or incidents require reduced vehicle speeds to manage traffic flow or operational safety.”

Innovative bridge design

The Queensferry Crossing has been designed to be sympathetic to its unique setting on the Firth of Forth, adjacent to the iconic railway and road bridges. The team provided guidance into the design of the bridge’s cable stayed solution, which allows individual strands within each cable to be replaced if required without the need to close the Queensferry Crossing.

This alternative design united elegance, user experience and best value, to ensure greater reliability for future generations, while significantly reducing project costs.

3z3b8264 team shot

3z3b8264 team shot

The Jacobs Arup team

Wind shields were installed to provide vehicles protection from the frequent gale force winds, and a structural health monitoring system has been implemented to help enhance reliability.

Explains Arup technical director on the project Mike Glover: “About a thousand sensors have been installed on the Queensferry Crossing, carefully positioned to provide advanced warning of structural problems. The data will tell the maintenance teams where to inspect and intervene to pre-empt potential issues. This is the future of roads and bridge maintenance – combining sensor technology and cloud-based data analytics to predict problems before they happen.”

Helping Transport Scotland deliver community value  

Sensitive and meaningful engagement and communication with the community and other stakeholders has been critical to the project. Transport Scotland and the Jacobs Arup JV created and oversaw advisory groups across marine, environmental, noise, community and other stakeholders, such as the Traffic Management Working Group, to allow for continuous feedback and ensure support.

Queensferry crossing from north viewpoint (2) (3229) 72dpi

Queensferry crossing from north viewpoint (2) (3229) 72dpi

The bridge structure spans 2.7km making it the longest three tower cable stay bridge in the world

The Contact and Education Centre provided a focal point for community engagement and education, and helped achieve outreach to over 25,000 pupils across Scotland during construction. Scotland’s public and local communities have identified with the new bridge with huge enthusiasm.

Concludes Jacobs’ Iain Murray, operations director for the Forth Replacement Crossing Employer’s Delivery Team: “Working on the Queensferry Crossing has been a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.  It has been a pleasure to work alongside Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, with such specialist knowledge in the delivery of the project from procurement through to final construction.”

Produced in association with Arup and Jacobs

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