On This Day - 4th March

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The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 9 miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. It was opened on 4th March 1890 by the Duke of Rothesay, the future Edward VII.

It is considered an iconic structure and a symbol of Scotland (having been voted Scotland's greatest man-made wonder in 2016), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed by the English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, It is sometimes referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge, though this has never been its official name.

When first opened it had the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world, until 1919 when the Quebec Bridge in Canada was completed. It continues to be the world's second-longest single cantilever span.

Prior to the construction of the bridge, ferry boats were used to cross the Firth. In 1806, a pair of tunnels, one for each direction, was proposed, and in 1818 James Anderson produced a design for a three-span suspension bridge close to the site of the present one. Calling for approximately 2,500 tonnes of iron, Wilhelm Westhofen said of it "and this quantity (of iron) distributed over the length would have given it a very light and slender appearance, so light indeed that on a dull day it would hardly have been visible, and after a heavy gale probably no longer to be seen on a clear day either".

The completed bridge spans the Forth between the villages of South Queensferry and North Queensferry and has a total length of 8,094 feet (2,467 m). It consists of two main spans, two side spans, and 15 approach spans. Each main span consists of two 680 ft cantilever arms supporting a central 350 feet span truss. The weight of the bridge superstructure was 50,513 long tons. The bridge also used 640,000 cubic feet of granite.

Today's question — how many rivets were used in the construction of the bridge?

The answer is here

6.5 million rivets were used

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