Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Does the case for mega bridges always stack up?

The following letter was published in the New Civil Engineer magazine dated 20-03-08 and is from Catherine's Dad, Ross Carruthers. In it he highlights the enormous costs of the Scottish Governments proposals.

"I write with regard to the proposed replacement Forth crossing.

The Chinese intend building a crossing from Macao to Hong Kong: 36.3km of bridge and tunnel for £2 Billion (£57.9 Million per km)

The English are considering a road and rail link in the Thames estuary: 7.6km of tunnel for £1 Billion (£131.6 Million per km)

The Scottish Government is pushing ahead with a replacement bridge over the Forth: 2km bridge plus 3km approach roads for £4.2 billion (£840 Million per km)

The second Severn crossing is 5.125km long, has a 456m main span (the Forth's navigation channel is 450m wide) and cost £331 Million in 1996 (£64.6 Million per km)

Shouldn't the Scottish Government spend the few thousand pounds needed for a shallow seismic soil survey upstream of Rosyth to establish how much cheaper a second crossing - keeping the original open - would be?

Once the old bridge is repaired - at an estimated cost of between £95 Million and £122 Million there could be the existing number of car lanes, two bus lanes in each direction, a light rail link across the new bridge, no diversion of traffic in high winds, and no destruction of ancient woodland, listed buildings or SSSI." D.R. Carruthers, Perth.

It would be very interesting to ear why the Scottish Government are pushing forward with their current proposals in light of the above information.


Lionel de Livi said...

Iain you're missing the word Million after the £840 in relation to the Forth Crossing. Because at the moment it can read like an excellent deal if read selectively.

Iain Rubie Dale said...

Oops! Thanks for letting me know - now fixed.

Stephen Glenn said...

No problem Iain, next time I'll remember to check which google mail ID I'm logged in under.