Miracle on the Forth Road Bridge

Transport Minister Derek Mackay announces the reopening of the Forth Road Bridge
Transport Minister Derek Mackay announces the reopening of the Forth Road Bridge

Motorists received an early Christmas present with the Forth Road Bridge re-open on Wednesday after weeks of travel chaos.

Workers managed to complete temporary repairs ahead of schedule and politicians praised their efforts, as well as the public for remaining patient during 
the closure.

Operating company Amey, which carried out the repair work, confirmed the installation of the steel splint to the crack which caused the closure on December 3 is complete and traffic, except for HGVs and abnormal loads, can now safely pass over it.

The news brings to an end weeks of misery for travellers who were forced into diversions over the Clackmannanshire and Kincardine bridges through miles of congestion, especially at peak times.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay praised the team who he said have worked round the clock to get the vital link opened after it was thought the bridge would be shut until the New Year.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Mackay said: “I am pleased that we are now able to re-open the bridge to 90 per cent of traffic, well ahead of schedule.

“With the temporary solution now in place, the remaining work to install the long term repair can safely proceed without the need for a full closure. The repairs will be carried out with overnight lane restrictions on the bridge.

“In addition to the interim repair on the cracked member, splints are being installed on the other seven members as a precaution. Of these, work is already complete at four and the remaining three will be completed, subject to weather, by the end of December.

“There is no reason for the bridge to remain closed while this work is completed.”

It could be mid-February before HGVs are allowed across the bridge.