History / Engineering

The Tay Road Bridge is 2250m in length and spans the estuary of the river Tay between Dundee and Newport-on-Tay. The bridge was designed by William A Fairhurst and took three years to build between 1963 and 1966 at a cost of £4.8m. The main contractor was Duncan Logan (Contractors) Ltd of Muir of Ord.

The main structure comprises 42 spans the majority of which are 55m in length increasing to 76.3m at the four navigation channels and reducing to 24.4m at the Dundee end.

The roadway comprises dual carriageways 6.7m wide with a 3m wide central walkway/cycleway and rises at a gradient of 1 in 81 from a height of 9.7m above sea level at the Dundee end to 38m at the Fife end to provide clearance at the navigation channels.

Concrete piers in the river support twin concrete columns of parabolic shape that vary in height from 5.5m at the Dundee end to 30.5m at the Fife end. The twin columns support twin hollow steel box girders 3.65m wide and 3m deep, which in turn support a 300mm thick composite concrete slab carrying the roadway.

At the Dundee end of the main structure traffic was collected and discharged via four elevated curved and spiral reinforced concrete ramps supported on concrete columns with a total elevated length of approx 500m.

Abolition of Tolls

Bridge tolls were abolished with effect from 11 February 2008.

Old Toll Information

Below you will find a link to an archived copy of the toll information that used to be in place on the old Tay Bridge website. It includes images of the toll plaza as it used to be.

View the old toll information page


Past Projects


Pier Collision Protection Works

Brief Description: Protection of piers against ship strike
Value: £18,000,000
Year 2012
Contractor: Volker Stevin


CollisionThis project was commissioned by the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board to ensure the bridge was not at risk of lengthy closure due to a serious ship impact at the navigation spans.

The design of the Scheme was carried out by Jacobs, who provide Engineering Consultancy services to the Board under a Framework Agreement.

The work was awarded to specialist contractor Volker Stevin in 2011 following a competitive Tendering process using an innovative Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) variant of the New Engineering Contract (NEC3).

The works were carried out from substantial floating marine plant, which will be located in close proximity to the bridge and highly visible to users, however the road bridge remained open to traffic and pedestrians throughout the project.

Volker Stevin started the works on site in March 2012 with the installation of 60m long steel tubular driven piles and the installation of scour protection to the riverbed in the area of the pier protection works. This is carried out by placing a concrete mattress on the river bed.

The fabrication and installation of precast concrete shell units weighing between 250 and 300 tonnes each form the soffit and outer perimeter of the pier protection fendering structure. These were placed onto the piled foundations connected together structurally using concrete placed in several stages.


Fife Abutment Bearing Replacement

Brief Description: Replacement of sliding bearings at south end of bridge and associated works to Fife Abutment
Value: £750,000
Year  2009-10
Contractor: Raynesway


Lighting Column Replacement

Brief Description: Replacement of existing lighting columns with galvanised/painted steel columns
Value: £245,000
Year  2008-09
Contractor: Tayside Contracts


Bearing Replacement

Brief Description: Replacement of fixed/sliding bearings to columns and Dundee Abutment, internal strengthening and modification of internal diaphragms
Value: £21,700,000
Year  2005-8
Contractor: Cleveland Bridge UK


Box Girder Strengthening

Brief Description: Strengthening to internal ring beam stiffeners to increase bridge carrying capacity to 44 tonnes
Value: £3,800,000
Year  2002-3
Contractor: Raynesway

Inspection And Maintenance

Inspection and routine maintenance is carried out by the Boards in house Maintenance Section

There are two self propelled gantries on the bridge which allows access to be made to the majority of the structure without the need for disruption to traffic.