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Ground investigations begin for new Forth crossing

Land searches, environmental surveys and ground investigations get underway this month for the proposed new Forth crossing.

From tomorrow (Wednesday 13 February), representatives from Arup-Jacobs will be conducting land searches on behalf of Transport Scotland in the possible alignment corrider to establish land ownership and boundaries with affected landowners.

Teams of ecologists, geologists and engineers will begin a series of studies in this corridor to inform decisions on the design and alignment of the bridge and the connecting road network.

Later this month environmental surveys will get under way and ground investigation work is due to begin in March.

This is a significant step towards the detailed design of the crossing, which follows the decision by Scottish Ministers in December 2007 to build a multi-modal cable stay bridge across the Forth.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: "The surveys and investigations taking place over the coming months will provide Transport Scotland with information about the landscape and ground conditions in the area and allow them to design the crossing on the most suitable alignment within the identified corridor, minimising impacts on the environment, landowners and local communities.

"It is important we act quickly to protect the crucial economic link of cross-Forth travel by progressing this replacement crossing given the uncertain future facing the existing bridge," he added.

"The surveys and investigations taking place over the coming months will provide Transport Scotland with information about the landscape and ground conditions in the area and allow them to design the crossing on the most suitable alignment within the identified corridor, minimising impacts on the environment, landowners and local communities," he said.

A competitive tendering process for the provision of specialist ground investigation and marine investigation services is underway and Transport Scotland expects to confirm the appointment of contractors shortly to allow investigations to begin in Spring 2008.

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