"Long Delays" on Forth Road Bridge on 10/11 March

Submitted by edg on Fri, 2 Mar '12 9.06pm

Drivers crossing the Forth Road Bridge are being warned to expect long delays on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March while repair work is being carried out.

Restrictions will be in place from 03:00 to 12:00 noon on the morning of both Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March. Significant queues are expected to build up after 09:00, particularly on Saturday.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the bridge using the west footpath/cycleway.

The work has been scheduled at short notice after an inspection identified new damage to nuts on the bolts that hold the vertical hanger ropes to the bridge’s main suspension cables.

The hanger ropes loop around metal castings which are bolted to the cables by 35mm diameter steel bolts, each with a nut at either end. There are 944 of these bolts.

Barry Colford, Chief Engineer & Bridgemaster, said: “We’ve now found cracked nuts at both ends of one of the bolts, which is why we’re bringing forward their replacement.

“Unfortunately these traffic restrictions are necessary for safety as we will be lifting an access cradle and other equipment onto the main cable above the carriageway.

“We know from experience that significant queues are likely to build up after 9 a.m. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

“Our advice is to take an alternative route, delay your journey or use public transport if you need to travel at these times.”

Cracks had previously been found in a small number of the nuts during a routine inspection in 2007. These nuts were replaced and the bridge authority stated its intention to replace all of the nuts over time as and when access and resources permitted.If weather or other circumstances cause these works to be delayed then they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.