OpenLearn Scotland
OpenLearn Scotland

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OpenLearn Scotland

3.4 Forth Road Bridge

This course focuses on the Forth Road Bridge that connects Edinburgh with Fife. It is a suspension bridge and continues to face a number of problems regarding its deteriorating condition. A short video illustrates some of the major structural issues facing the bridge as well as examining some of the proposed changes to the use of the bridge to help increase its lifespan.

Edinburgh reaches over the Firth of Forth with two great bridges – the photogenic Victorian Forth Rail Bridge and the slender Forth Road Bridge, opened in 1964. The latter suspends the road from cables, but it is being threatened by rust. Water has found its way inside the cables, causing them to rust and weaken. By 2014 heavy goods vehicles may no longer be able to use it; and by 2019 the bridge may have to be closed altogether.

To access this material click on the course link below. It leads to a separate OpenLearn course and will open in a new window.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this free course you should be able to:

  • understand the basic structural issues of the Forth Road Bridge;

  • give examples of how engineers are trying to alleviate the wear and tear on the bridge.



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