Construction News

Mon April 19 2021

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Solution devised for Forth bridge cracks

11 Dec 15 Bridge engineers have designed, checked and verified plans to fix the Forth Road Bridge and get it back open.

The crack that needs to be fixed
The crack that needs to be fixed

And just to make sure, bits of the bridge that aren’t cracked are going to be reinforced too.

The Forth Road Bridge has been closed a week after a crack was found on one of the bridge’s truss end links. Since then engineers from the bridge’s maintenance contractor, Amey, have been working on a repair solution involving a plate welded repair to the damaged truss end link and jacking the link into position. The designs have passed third party verification by independent consultants.

An access platform to allow repair works to get underway is now being constructed. The platform will permit teams of welders to work day and night, when weather conditions permit.

In addition to repairing the known defect, Amey is taking preventative action on another seven similar locations on the bridge to prevent any issues from occurring. Structural monitoring systems are also being installed at these locations.

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In the meantime, the bridge will remain closed until at least the end of the year while work is carried out.

Mark Arndt, Amey's account director responsible for the bridge, said: “Our teams have been working 24/7 since the defect was identified a little over a week ago. Our design teams have finalised the detailed solution plan, the access platform is under construction and we’ve mobilised all the resources we need to begin the repair works.

“Progress of the repair work is vulnerable to weather conditions. Wind speeds at times make it unsafe for our people to continue but by having our personnel on standby at the bridge and by monitoring live wind-speed data in our control room we’re able to get straight back out to work on the repairs in every available window and our programme remains on schedule for completion in the New Year.”

Transport minister Derek Mackay paid tribute to the Amey crew. “It is difficult and technical work and the team is to be commended on its commitment to getting the job completed despite the weather conditions,” he said.

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