Queensferry Crossing work won’t be finished until December

The Queensferry Crossing carries nearly 80,000 vehicles each weekday.The Queensferry Crossing carries nearly 80,000 vehicles each weekday.
The Queensferry Crossing carries nearly 80,000 vehicles each weekday.
Completion of work on the Queensferry Crossing has been put back again, this time until December.

Remaining tasks on the £1.35 billion bridge – which was officially opened more than two years ago – had been scheduled to end in October while “clear up work” would take until the end of the year.

But now Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has set out an updated timetable for finishing the outstanding work.

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The list, in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee, shows a large number of items which will not be completed until December.

Among the works now due to be finished by the end of the year are commissioning of tower maintenance access platforms; commissioning of bridge control room systems; commissioning of dehumidification and structural monitoring systems; completion of below-deck architectural lighting; completion of under-deck inspection gantry rails; completion of internal painting and touching-up of external painting; as well as snagging on road lighting and road drainage.

Completion of some of the tasks, including drainage and lighting, had already been put back three times.

Motorists who use the bridge regularly have complained about frequent roadworks and lane closures since the crossing was opened in September 2017.

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Transport Scotland insists some work was always planned for after the bridge opened.

Earlier this month the crossing – the world’s longest three-towered, cable-stayed bridge at 2,633 metres – was named the best infrastructure project in the UK by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Mr Matheson was quizzed by MSPs about work on the Queensferry Crossing when he appeared before them two weeks ago.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser asked for a guarantee that work on the bridge would not continue beyond the end of the year – but Mr Matheson did not give one.

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A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Nearly 80,000 vehicles use the Queensferry Crossing each weekday. The new crossing is delivering clear economic benefits for both industry and commuters, a fact recognised by the road haulage industry.

“Our contractor, FCBC, is progressing snagging and finishing works, which are still scheduled for completion this year. All work requiring traffic management will be carried out overnight, minimising disruption for road users.”