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Dehumidification of Forth bridge cables resumes

Work to tackle corrosion in the main cables of the Forth Road Bridge is beginning again following a winter shutdown.

Special platforms are undergoing refurbishment following the shutdown when winds presented too great a risk for work to progress.

The platforms will soon be hoisted almost 150m for contractor C Spencer Ltd to resume the process of sealing the cable in an airtight neoprene sheath. Very dry air will then be blown inside the cable in an attempt to reduce the humidity to a level where corrosion cannot occur.

Work on the west cable is complete, and the whole system is expected to be fully operational later this year.

Chief Engineer & Bridgemaster Barry Colford said: “We’re determined to give ourselves the best possible chance of beating corrosion in the main cables.

“The team has worked extremely hard to get the project back on schedule and we’re raring to get going again after an enforced winter break. We’re bringing in an extra platform so there will soon be three teams working on the cable at once.

“I’m confident in the innovative dehumidification system we’ve developed and there’s no doubt we’ve got the best people working on the job. However, it must be stressed that there are no guarantees and we won’t know how successful we’ve been until the system has been given time to work and the cable is re-inspected in 2011/12,” he said.

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