Long delays expected at Forth Road Bridge on Sunday morning

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

Traffic will be restricted to a single lane in both directions while work is carried out above the opposite carriageway.

Restrictions will be in place from 3.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Significant queues are expected to build up after 9.00 a.m.

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

These restrictions are necessary 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.

Bridge authority FETA ordered the special inspection after an increase in wire breaks within the main cable was detected at this location.

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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.

If weather or other circumstances cause these works to be delayed then they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.

Barry Colford, chief engineer and 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.

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“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.”