The Queensferry Crossing near Edinburgh crosses the river Forth upstream of the existing Forth Road Bridge and is Scotland’s largest infrastructure project for a generation. When completed, it became the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world at 1.7 miles long. 

Selected by Transport Scotland as part of a joint venture with Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd, our remit was to develop the Queensferry Crossing specimen design as the basis of the Design and Build contract, prepare the contract documentation, and project-manage the new cable-stayed 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 at the same time as 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. This effective project management approach saved £265m from the budget. 

Queensferry Crossing video cover
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.

Our team provided a broad range of key services, including scheme appraisal, civil and structural design, geotechnical, mechanical and electrical design, maritime design, fire engineering consulting, security consulting and facade engineering. Our 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.

Keeping traffic moving throughout construction

The project uses intelligent transport systems (ITS) to help keep traffic moving in a 13 mile multi-road corridor, 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.

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 illuminate road connections. 

Traffic control at the heart of the project

At the heart of the scheme is a new Bridge Control Room and the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre (TSNCC), a strategic hub to control and manage Scotland’s motorway and trunk-road 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 vital decision making.

During construction our teams of specialists provided support and materials advice to the wider Arup team. This ensured compliance with the employer's requirements and was principally focused on reinforced concrete and structural steel along with other materials. We also advised on solutions to the unforeseen site related challenges that inevitably arise on a project of this size and complexity. This assured long-term durability and quality of construction for the owner.

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