ESAB has been awarded the contract to supply welding consumables for constructing the Queensferry Crossing, which is a new road bridge to take most of the traffic from the existing road bridge over the Firth of Forth connecting Edinburgh with Fife.
The new bridge is the world’s longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge, and the overall scheme encompassing the bridge and connecting road network is Scotland’s biggest transport infrastructure project in a generation – estimated to cost between £1.325 billion and £1.35 billion.
Thirty-five thousand (35,000) tonnes of steel will be required to construct the 1.7-mile bridge. A composite steel tub/concrete deck superstructure will carry two lanes of traffic plus a hard shoulder in each direction, and this will be supported by steel cables attached to three slender concrete towers up to 210m high. The design/build contractor is Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), a consortium of Hochtief Construction, American Bridge International, Dragados and Morrison Construction. ESAB has been contracted by this consortium to supply the welding consumables for the Queensferry Crossing.
Currently, ESAB’s experts are working in conjunction with the consortium’s welding engineer to finalise the selection of consumables and optimise the welding procedures. Given the complexity of the project, a combination of up to seven welding consumables will be utilised in order to achieve the optimum balance of weld quality and productivity across all the different welded joints / materials.
On a project such as this, where very demanding deadlines are to be met, the supply chain is of paramount importance. To this end, ESAB have entered into an agreement with local distributor IWS (Dunfermline). Stock will be held at their premises, located 15 minutes from the bridge, thus ensuring the shortest lead times possible.
More information about welding consumables is available from www.esab.co.uk.