Motorists are being warned to avoid the Forth Road Bridge this weekend as the first of three weekend closures takes place.
This is to allow for essential demolition works for the Forth Replacement Crossing project to get under way with drivers being told to expect ‘inevitable’ disruption.
The work to demolish the old B800 bridge over the A90 south of Echline Junction will take place over the weekends of October 24/25, October 31/November 1, and November 14/15.
The A90 and M90 (M9 Spur) will be closed to all traffic south of Echline Junction to allow for the demolition of the old bridge.
Operators of the Forth Road Bridge (FRB) are also taking the opportunity to undertake essential maintenance so a single lane contraflow will be in operation across the bridge.
From 8p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 8p.m. on Saturday, October 31 and 8p.m. on Saturday, November 14 the A90 and M90 (M9 Spur) will be closed in both directions through to a latest re-opening time of 6a.m. on the following Monday mornings.
Steven Brown, Roads and Infrastructure manager, Transport Scotland, said: “All road users are advised that considerable delays are expected in the vicinity of the Forth during these closures and diversion routes will also be very busy.
“Disruption is inevitable in these areas and we would strongly recommend that people should only travel if their journey is absolutely necessary. Those travelling to and from Edinburgh Airport should also take the closure into consideration when planning their journey.
“As we’ve seen recently, unexpected closures of the Forth Road Bridge can quickly create problems on the network. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption and alert people ahead of time.
“We’ve worked with ScotRail and it is planning to add some extra coaches to some trains on the Sundays affected. As well as regularly updating the media, VMS signs have been advising drivers for some time and we continue to work with our colleagues in Traffic Scotland to best ensure everyone is able to make an informed journey decision on closure days.”
He continued: “The team intends to demolish the old B800 bridge over three weekends, avoiding Remembrance Sunday.
“We will continue to work closely with our contractor to ensure every effort is made to reduce the duration of the closure and to lift the restrictions as early as is possible.
“During the closure, the FRB will remain open for local access only. A single lane contraflow will be in place on the bridge for the duration of the A90 closure.
“The Forth Bridges Operating Company (Amey) are taking this opportunity to undertake some regular and necessary maintenance work on the FRB.”
He added: “Also, in order to minimise disruption overall, maintenance work on the local road network will also be carried out during the overall closures.”
Diversion routes to cross the Forth for A90 traffic travelling south and north will be via the M9 (A904/5 for non-motorway traffic), Kincardine Bridge and the A985.
Diversion routes for traffic travelling north from Edinburgh will be via the M8 and M9 to Kincardine Bridge. Local access between South Queensferry, Kirkliston and Dalmeny will remain available.
The road closure will be in place between Echline Junction, south of the Forth Road Bridge and north of Barnton at the B924 Dalmeny junction on the A90.
In addition, the M90 (M9 Spur) will also be closed in both directions between M9 Junction 1a and the Scotstoun Junction.
Public transport options are limited given buses will be impacted by road disruption, however trains will still be running.
A ScotRail spokeswoman added: “We will be adding extra coaches where possible, focusing on the busiest trains on each of the affected Sundays.”