January reopening set for Forth Road Bridge

January reopening set for Forth Road Bridge

Engineers are aiming to reopen the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland by January 4 after it was closed following the discovery of a crack under the carriageway.

Bridge operator Amey says it is on target to have the repair work completed by the start of the first working week of the new year.

However, it points out that the timetable is dependent on the weather.

The bridge, which connects Edinburgh to Fife, has been closed since December 4 after a fault was found on one of the truss end links during a routine inspection, and all traffic has been diverted along other routes.

Chartered engineer Mark Arndt, Amey's account director responsible for the bridge, says engineers are "working round the clock" to have the key transport link back open on January 4.

The closure of the bridge, which carries around 70,000 vehicles a day, has been causing misery for motorists, with reports of huge tailbacks on alternative routes.

Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay announced last week that a diversion on the A985 between Cairneyhill and Kincardine would now be open to light goods vehicles such as vans, and to all vehicles at weekends.

Prior to that they had been diverted along other routes towards the Clackmannanshire Bridge, freeing up the Kincardine Bridge for HGVs and buses.

The vehicle restrictions are to be completely lifted on December 23 as the Christmas holiday period gets under way.

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