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Forth Bridge Honored with UNESCO Plaque

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Scotland’s Forth Bridge, an engineering marvel opened in 1890, is now officially commemorated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site via a plaque dedicated Sunday (Aug. 20).

The 1.5-mile cantilever bridge, which includes two 1,700-foot-long cantilever spans that are the second longest in the world, has carried rail traffic across the Forth of Firth between South Queensferry and North Queensferry for more than 125 years. Its construction required 54,000 tons of steel and 140,000 cubic yards of masonry, according to an account authored by Wilhelm Westhofen.

Forth Bridge plaque dedication
Transport Scotland

The Forth Bridge plaque was dedicated Sunday by Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

Designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, the Forth Bridge took eight years to complete and cost about $15 million to build. Some 73 workers are believed to have died as a result of accidents during the construction of the bridge and its viaduct approaches.

List Honors

The bridge was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015, but its official plaque designation was not installed until Sunday. UNESCO, a United Nations agency, focuses on science, education and culture, and uses the World Heritage List to recognize important natural and engineered sites worldwide and protect them via international treaty.

Spain’s Vizcaya Bridge is also on the list; that span, completed in 1893, spans the Ibaizabal estuary at a length of about 525 feet. The Vizcaya utilizes twisted steel cables to convey a gondola carrying people and vehicles across the water.

Three Bridges

The Forth Bridge is adjacent to the more recent Forth Road Bridge—a suspension bridge completed in 1964, which carries vehicular traffic—and the new Queensferry Crossing, a cable-stayed bridge set to open later this month. Construction for the new bridge, estimated at 1.35 billion pounds in cost, began in 2011.

The Forth Bridge plaque was dedicated by Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

“The unveiling of this plaque is a small gesture to recognise the hard work of all those involved in obtaining UNESCO World Heritage status for the Forth Bridge and to celebrate the workers who constructed and continue to maintain the bridge,” Yousaf said.

The bridge is maintained by Network Rail, Historic Environment Scotland, Transport Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council and Visit Scotland.


Tagged categories: Bridges; EU; Europe; Historic Preservation; Program/Project Management

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