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- Category: A
- Date Added: 23/02/2005
- Local Authority: Fife
- Planning Authority: Fife
- Parish: Tulliallan
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 92562 87165
- Coordinates: 292562, 687165
Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, Westminster, 1930-31, with architectural advice from James Miller. Major road bridge with swing span (now fixed shut).
2696ft total length with series of shallow-arched spans. Swing span, 364ft, swivels at centre with cantilevered spans to either side. Series of gantries span roadway. Above centre, control cabin. Original plant in machine room at centre pier. Flanking swing span, 7 identical 100ft steel spans (cantilevers, central 50ft spans resting on girders projecting 25ft from piers). In addition, at Kincardine end, 3 62ft 6in spans (also steel) over land. At opposite end, 9 50ft reinforced concrete spans and piled viaduct, also reinforced concrete, 265ft long.
Statement of Special Interest
A large and important swing span bridge. The swing span was fixed shut in 1989. When completed, it was the largest road bridge in Britain with the largest swing span in Europe.
J Guthrie Brown was engineer-in-charge under Sir Alexander Gibb. Building began in 1933 and the bridge was opened on 29th October 1936. The contractors were the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co Ltd, although much of the work was subcontracted. Other subcontractors included: Sir William Arrol who provided the swing span turntable; Bromsgrove Guild, the lamp standards; Tunnel Cement Co and the Cement Marketing Co, both of London, provided the enormous amount of cement filler (2 types) required.
The swing span turns on a roller path mounted on a steel cylinder containing two sets of turning gear - a Ward-Leonard set to control turning and a standby diesel engine of 150 horsepower. The control desk and oak and teak joinery was by Scott Morton Ltd.
Built under the direction of the joint committee representing Fife, Stirling and Clackmannan counties and Dunfermline and Falkirk burghs. Pier foundations were obtained by sinking 14ft 16in hollow steel cylinders with their tops kept above high water level. The river bed was excavated to bedrock from within these cylinders. A geological fault line at the south end rendered it necessary for the foundations there to be made on groups of piles.
Photo electric cells, used here for the first time, controlled the exact location of the swing span. Harrison noted that it was so accurately set on its track that its 1600 tons could be turned through 90 degrees by three farthings worth of electricity.
The bridge spans the Firth of Forth from Tulliallan Parish in Fife to Airth Parish in Falkirk.
THE OPENING OF THE KINCARDINE ON FORTH BRIDGE 29.10.36 (1936). John Guthrie Brown, MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS (1937) pp687-770. Godfrey Harrison, ALEXANDER GIBB THE STORY OF AN ENGINEER (1950).
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