STRETCHING out from the banks of the Forth, the Queensferry Crossing that will one day carry thousands of cars across the river is emerging in stunning form.

These pictures show three of the massive concrete piers which will bear the weight of the £1.45 billion crossing.

More than 200 metres of viaduct - which will form the roads travelling north and south - has now been completed, and 343 still remains to completed as the project pushes on towards its 2016 finish date.

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The first push took place in mid-December 2013, while the most recent launch saw the viaduct travel 126 metres over two piers, the longest single push in the operation.

The 6000-tonne steel viaduct deck arrives by road in 33-metre segments weighing 72 tonnes from structuaral engineers Cleveland Bridge in Darlington, County Durham. The preparation of the steelwork currently takes up most of the company's capacity, and each piece is joined at the construction site into one section stretching 543 metres.

The south viaduct will carry traffic to and from the south approach roads on to the main crossing.

Minister for Transport Keith Brown said: "People travelling through and visiting the area around the Forth bridges recently will really start to notice the huge structure of the bridge taking shape. The south approach viaduct is clearly visible as it advances across from the land to the water's edge, supported by the large V-shaped piers showing the progress that the job has made to date.

"Out on the water the three main towers that will support the cable-stayed bridge are clearly visible, with the centre tower currently around 52 metres, the north tower 32 metres and south tower 24 metres high above the waterline.

"On the connecting road networks, preparations for the upgrade to the Ferrytoll junction are progressing well and will continue in the coming months. While on the south side the new Queensferry junction is on schedule to open this summer.

"The project remains on schedule and under budget."