Landscape view of Queensferry crossing. Credit: Arup.; Landscape view of Queensferry crossing. Credit: Arup.;

Queensferry Crossing , Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Queensferry Crossing - The largest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation

The Queensferry Crossing is Scotland’s largest infrastructure project for a generation and the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. 

Arup was selected by Transport Scotland as part of a joint venture with Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd, to develop the Queensferry Crossing specimen design (which was the basis of the Design and Build contract), prepare the contract documentation and project-manage the new cable-stayed bridge, which crosses the river Forth near Edinburgh, upstream of the existing Forth Road Bridge.

Delivering cost and programme certainty

Our work was fundamental to the development of the project. We transformed the cost-benefit ratio through the innovative use of new and existing bridges as an integrated pair of multi-modal crossings, reducing the scheme budget from £4.2bn to £1.4bn. This provided the same benefits – with the new bridge able to withstand the necessary traffic loads, and enabling an alternative diversion route - while halving the cost.

As part of our commission, we developed, implemented, and met an accelerated scheme programme to open the new crossing in December 2016 by running procurement and statutory processes in parallel. Our effective project management approach saved £265m from the project budget. 

Project Summary


1.7 mile structure length

13.7mileoverall road corridor

….the bridge has been designed to be sympathetic to its unique setting within the dramatic Scottish landscape and sit next to the iconic railway and road bridges that cross the River Forth
Mike Glover Mike Glover OBE Director

Our team provided a range of services, including scheme appraisal, civil and structural design, geotechnical, mechanical and electrical design, maritime design, fire engineering consulting, security consulting and facade engineering. Specialists also provided advice for structural health monitoring, wind analysis engineering, digital management and materials consultancy, in addition to environmental consulting, project management, risk management, procurement and programming and construction monitoring services.

The project uses intelligent transport systems to help keep traffic moving, improve safety and reduce vehicle emissions. These include the first use of a controlled ITS environment in Scotland using variable mandatory speed limits, a parallel public transport route, bus lane hard shoulder use and above ground vehicle detection.

One of the world’s leading long-span bridge designers, Arup was selected in joint venture with Jacobs to be Transport Scotland’s partner the Queensferry Crossing from feasibility study to completion.

In this film about the Queensferry Crossing, Arup’s Alistair Chisholm and Paul Morrison discuss the unique set of geotechnical challenges facing the Arup/Jacob's joint venture team responsible for developing and managing the project.
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The driver experience is enhanced through the use of lane control signalling and an intelligent lighting control system with features such as low height lighting to help illuminate the road connections. 

At the heart of the scheme is a new Bridge Control Room and the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre (TSNCC), a strategic hub which controls and manages Scotland’s motorway and trunk network.

The project also benefits from a sophisticated structural health monitoring system. This Cloud-based system informs the maintenance regime and monitors the structural health of the crossing to support decision making.

This video focuses on the geotechnical activities carried out on the project.
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