Motorists warned to expect long delays on Forth Road Bridge

Published: 18 May 2015 09:30

News

MOTORISTS are being warned to expect long delays at the Forth Road Bridge on the morning of Sunday, May 24.

According to Forth Road Bridge officials, traffic will be restricted to a single lane in both directions while cable inspection work is carried out above the opposite carriageway.

It says restrictions will be in place from 03:00 to 11:30 and significant queues are expected to build up after 09:00.

Restrictions are necessary, according to officials, to allow preparatory work to be completed in advance of an inspection of the main cable. Steelwork will be erected near the top of the south tower so that an access platform can be winched into position.

The move comes after bridge authority FETA ordered a special inspection following an increase in wire breaks within the main cable. The breaks were detected using an acoustic monitoring system, which uses microphones along the length of the cable to detect breaks amongst the 11,618-high tensile steel wires that make up each main cable.

Barry Colford, chief engineer & bridgemaster, said: “These restrictions are necessary for safety while steel beams are erected on the main cable high above the carriageway.

“These beams will allow us to winch an access platform into position so that we can open up the cable for inspection. The purpose of this inspection is to determine whether the recent increase in wire breaks that we have detected is indicative of a longer term problem.

“It’s worth repeating that, while these breaks do merit further investigation, there are no immediate safety concerns and the cables still have more than enough strength to do their job.

“Once we know the results of the inspection we will recommend any further action that is required to ensure the bridge remains safe and open to traffic.”

Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the bridge using the west footpath and cycleway.

Works are weather permitting and may have to be rescheduled for the following weekend.

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