A “SIGNIFICANT milestone” has been reached in the building of a new bridge over the Forth.
• Forth Replacement Crossing completes milestone as central tower foundations laid on Beamer Rock
• Nearly three million litres of water displaced from area surrounding Beamer Rock, home to a lighthouse for 185 years
In what has been hailed as a huge landmark for the £1.6 billion project, the foundations of its central tower have been completed.
Engineers blasted away parts of Beamer Rock, where a 185-year-old lighthouse which guarded Rosyth dockyard and the inner Forth once stood, to below water level.
The foundations have been firmly embedded into the rock, meaning the public can expect to see the bridge gradually rise out from the waters of the Forth.
Scotland’s Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This really is a significant milestone as it signifies the completion of one vital element in the marine foundations and the beginning of work above water on the bridge structure itself.”
Mr Brown added: “It’s been a big week for the project and the wintry weather on Wednesday was probably a fitting way for the marine foundations team to leave Beamer Rock given the challenging climate they have had to work in for the past 16 months.
“Despite this, I’m pleased that the handover was very much on schedule and the project continues to progress on time and on budget.”
Nearly three million litres of water have been displaced to create the foundations for the Forth Replacement Crossing.
After parts of Beamer Rock were blasted, an area known as a cofferdam was built, and nearly 3000 cubic metres of water was removed from it this week.
The Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors marine foundations team has now formally handed over to the tower team, ready for work to begin on the superstructure itself.
The bridge is on course to open in 2016.
Carlo Germani, project director for Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, said: “Dewatering the central tower cofferdam is a major milestone for this project.
“Creating this water-free environment will allow us to push on with the structural concrete foundation which will be followed by the central tower itself.”
The new crossing project is claimed to be Scotland’s biggest infrastructure project in a generation.
Transport Scotland invited the public to submit ideas for the name of the bridge, before a vote is opened up.
An independent advisory panel is considering thousands of suggestions, and it is expected that the public will be presented with a shortlist later this year.