Page last updated at 23:23 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 00:23 UK

Bridge celebrates 45th birthday


The video montage includes time lapse photography of the bridge undulating

The opening of the Forth Road Bridge exactly 45 years ago is being marked by the release of dramatic footage of the giant structure.

Time lapse photography reveals how it undulates in response to traffic and weather conditions.

The video montage also includes footage of the bridge being built and views from the top of the towers.

When the road bridge opened in 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world outside America.

The Forth Estuary Transport Authority ( FETA ) said the video offered rarely-seen views of the crossing.

FETA Vice-Convener Tony Martin said: "This video provides a fascinating snapshot of the Forth Road Bridge that has captured the imagination of everyone who has seen it.

"The bridge is a Scottish icon, admired by bridge engineers worldwide for its elegant proportions and efficient design.

"It's a tribute to the bridge's workforce and management that the structure has reached this milestone in such good condition, and that it continues to form such a reliable link in Scotland's road network."

Seven people died building the bridge, which was official opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on 4 September 1964.

Facts and figures

Forth Road Bridge
The Forth Road bridge was officially opened on 4 September 1964

The two main cables from which the suspended deck is hung, are 600mm in diameter and each is made up of 11,618 high wires with a 5mm diameter.

The main towers are welded cellular high tensile steel constructions and rise up 156m above high water level.

The maximum thickness of the steel in the towers is about 25mm. These towers were strengthened in the late 1990s to allow for the increased weights of heavy goods vehicles.

The traffic using the bridge is almost double that expected by the engineers who designed the structure in the 1950s, and in recent years corrosion has been detected in the cables

A bill being brought forward at the Scottish parliament in the next year will pave the way for a new Forth crossing to reduce pressure on the bridge.

The video will be on view at an exhibition on the history of the bridge at the headquarters of FETA in South Queensferry at the end of October.

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