I was born and brought up and am now retired and living again not far from these bridges. Before the bridges the route to Edinburgh from Fife meant a long trip round by the Kincardine Bridge, much higher up the River Forth or even by Stirling before that bridge was built.
For 800 years travellers had crossed the Forth by way of ferries but with the coming of the train a rail bridge was required and this was completed in 1890. It is a metal cantilever type and requires constant painting thus the ever present scaffolding. I think some new type of long lasting paint is being applied at the moment to cut down on this.This sufficed until the popularity of the car grew so much that a road bridge was called for. The decision to build was made in 1947 but it was only completed in 1964 and is a suspension bridge with an overall length of 2.5 km. Occasionally it is closed due to extreme gales, and this is fairly rare, with much disruption to traffic. It cost £19.5 million to build with almost £15 million coming from the UK government. Tolls were established and this debt was repaid but due to upkeep of the structure they were continued until very recently when they were scrapped all together. Now there is no need to rummage feverishly in your purse for a £1 coin in case you caused a hold-up in the traffic. At busy times there were horrendous queues.
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