A major challenge faced, was to link the Forth and Clyde Canal,
which lay 35m (115ft) below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two
canals had been joined at Falkirk by a flight of 11 locks that
stepped down across a distance of 1.5km, but these were
dismantled in 1933, breaking the link.
What was required was a method of connecting these two canals by
way of a boat lift. British Waterways (now Scottish Canals) were keen to present a
visionary solution taking full advantage of the opportunity to
create a truly spectacular and fitting structure that would
suitably commemorate the Millennium and act as an iconic symbol for
years to come.
The resultant, a perfectly balanced structure that is The
Falkirk Wheel - the world's first and only rotating boat lift - was
the eventual outcome of our collaboration with a design team that
combined international experience of joint venture contractor
Morrison-Bachy-Soletanche with leading specialists from Ove Arup
Consultants, Butterley Engineering and Scotland-based RMJM
Completion of The Millennium Link project was officially marked
by Her Majesty The Queen on 24 May 2002 at The Falkirk Wheel.