The Tay Estuary is straddled by two significant examples of structural engineering - the Tay Rail and Tay Road bridges. The Tay Rail Bridge was completed in 1887 and sweeps across the estuary carrying rail traffic between Dundee and neighbouring Fife. It replaced the original crossing which collapsed in 1879, killing 75 people. Stumps from the original bridge can still be seen rising above the river's surface and the old girders were used in the construction of the new structure.
"The Tay Bridge Disaster" was written in 1880 by the Scottish poet William McGonagall, who is widely acknowledged as the worst poet in history. The poem tells of the incident on December 28, 1879, when, during a severe gale, the original Tay Bridge collapsed as a train was passing over it with the loss of all on board (now thought to be 75 people, not 90 as stated in the poem).
The poem is by far the most famous ever written by McGonagall, and is still widely quoted. It begins: