THERE was traffic chaos for motorists in and around Queensferry on Monday after a lorry spill on the Forth Road Bridge caused gridlock for up to nine hours.
The incident, which saw hydraulic fluid spilled along most of the bridge’s northbound carriageway, occurred around 1.40pm.
This led to the northbound carriageway being restricted to a single lane for most of the afternoon leading to very long delays throughout the evening peak period.
But when traffic hit its peak, lengthy queues ensued with all approach roads tailed back beyond Newton, Kirkliston and Newbridge.
Within Queensferry, traffic came to standstill on The Loan while queues on Station Road snaked back to Dalmeny Station.
Many local motorists decided to abandon their vehicles and walk home and pick up their car later that night, but it was after 9pm before traffic began to move freely again.
A spokesman for the Forth Road Bridge said: “Specialist road cleaning equipment was brought in to make the carriageway safe and to prevent the hydraulic fluid causing damage to the bridge’s mastic asphalt surfacing.
‘‘Engineers then had to assess the condition of the carriageway and skid tests were carried out before the carriageway was reopened at around 7.45pm.”
Bridgemaster Barry Colford added: “We are optimistic that we have prevented any long-term damage to the road surface, although we will continue to monitor its condition.
‘‘Hydraulic fluid also spilled onto some of the steel alongside and below the carriageway, so further inspections will be carried out to assess whether there is any damage to paintwork.
“Our priority at all times is to keep the bridge safe and to limit the need for restrictions.
‘‘By acting quickly to remove this spill we have hopefully prevented the need to bring forward much more extensive and disruptive resurfacing of the carriageway.
‘‘We’re very grateful for the patience and understanding shown by members of the public.”