Companies interested in the creation of the new Forth Bridge Experience are being asked to submit expressions of interest before Network Rail produces a shortlist of tenderers for the design-build project later in the summer.

A main contractor is expected to be appointed by the end of 2020 with work on site beginning in 2021.

Alan Ross, Network Rail Scotland’s director of engineering and asset management, said: “The bridge walk experience will offer the public a unique chance to explore this world-famous structure and bring a real economic boost to the local economy.

“Appointing a main contractor to help us deliver this project will be a major milestone in creating this new attraction.

“This will be a challenging and exciting project for any company to work on and we look forward to working with the wider construction industry to develop a shortlist to tender.”

Plans for the Forth Bridge visitor centre and bridge walk experience gained planning permission from City of Edinburgh Council earlier this year.

Network Rail plans to create a new hub at the bridge where the public will be able to access the world-famous structure and explore its heritage as well as the views from 110m above sea level.

Forth Bridge Walk

The project will see construction of a bridge walk and reception centre on the south side of the Unesco World Heritage site. The centre will be used for preparing those heading out on the bridge walk as well as providing an access point to the structure.

Groups of up to 15 people will put on safety harnesses before being led out onto the bridge’s south cantilever, walking up to a viewing point at the top using walkways built into the structure.

Between three and four groups an hour will be permitted on the bridge, with each tour expected to last about two and a half hours.

Longer-term plans to create visitor facilities at the north end of the bridge are also under development and could see future access to the top of the north cantilever, via a lift.