Weather blows back Queensferry Crossing opening date

The Queensferry Crossing, the new Forth Bridge under construction.  Picture; Ian Rutherford
The Queensferry Crossing, the new Forth Bridge under construction. Picture; Ian Rutherford

The Queensferry Crossing will need more time to be completed due to the weather.

The consortium building the third bridge across the River Forth told Ministers that ongoing effects of weather means the bridge will no longer meet its opening date of December 2016.

Instead the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors believe the bridge will open in May 2017.

The contractor anticipated adverse weather to cause 25 per cent downtime, however since September 2015 the figure has been 40 per cent.

The FCBC contract runs until June 2017 and until recently, the target of opening six months ahead of the contractual completion date was considered challenging but still achievable.

However, the impact of the weather in April and May with 13 days and 12 days lost to weather was such that they have advised that they can no longer deliver the December 2016 target.

Whilst FCBC have been able to mitigate the impacts of weather by increasing resources and running a number of activities in parallel they are now entering a stage of bridge construction which is technically very complex.

FCBC have confirmed this creates an unavoidable knock-on effect for subsequent activities, road surfacing and wind barriers which will now take place in wet and cold conditions during autumn and winter 2016/2017.

Cabinet Secretary for economy, jobs and fair work Keith Brown said: “We will continue to work closely with the contractors and I will personally ensure that every pressure and every resource is brought to bear to deliver or even better the revised target date of May 2017.”