Scotland’s Forth Bridge has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, joining locations such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Athens Acropolis and China’s Great Wall.
The 125-year-old cantilever crossing this week bridged the gap (really? - Ed) between transport infrastructure and international landmark by being officially inscribed as a site of special industrial significance.
Spanning the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland, the bridge is two and a half kilometres long and comprises of 53,000 tonnes of mild steel. At its peak the bridge saw more than 4,500 people employed during building, with construction taking a total of eight years.
World leader: The Forth Bridge at night
It is now heralded alongside sites such as Machu Picchu, the Statue of Liberty and Westminster Palace as a location of outstanding importance to the common heritage of humanity.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: ‘The Forth Bridge’s Inscription as a World Heritage Site is an honour, and true recognition of the bridge’s unique place in Scotland’s history.
‘The Forth Bridge is an outstanding example of Scotland’s built heritage and its endurance is testament not only to the ingenuity of those who designed and built it but also to the generations of painters, engineers and maintenance crews who have looked after it through the years.’
The bid for World Heritage status was taken forward by the Forth Bridges Forum, established by the Scottish Government to promote the three Forth Bridges.
David Dickson, infrastructure director, Network Rail said: ‘Network Rail, as owner of the bridge, is honoured by UNESCO’s decision to inscribe the Forth Bridge as a World Heritage Site. The Forth Bridge is a prime example of civil engineering and an iconic structure, not only in Scotland but across the world.
‘The awarding of the inscription is the culmination of a great deal of planning from a wide range of organisations and a testament to the hard work and dedication of those who built and continue to maintain the bridge.’