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Repairs to damaged Forth Road Bridge complete

The £10M permanent repairs to the Forth Road Bridge are now complete following a major structural failure in 2015. 

A permanent repair was carried out in four stages after one of eight truss end links – the steel link connecting the deck to a tower – fractured in December 2015 and a temporary repair was put in place.

The eight links were removed and replaced with a “unique” sliding bearing system.

Contractor Spencer Group carried out the work which included installing temporary stairs and platforms below the bridge deck, allowing access to the previously inaccessible bearing arrangements.

Spencer Group faced multiple challenges on the project with the team working in confined spaces within the main towers and manoeuvring large structural components to precise tolerances.

The links cut from the bridge were removed and the replacement bearings delivered by boat 40m below the underside of the bridge. This meant work had to be co-ordinated with tides on the busy Firth of Forth.

Spencer Group bridges projects manager James Barnes said most of the replaced sections were around 7t to 8t with the heaviest lifts up to 16t.

Over 200t of steel work has been fabricated for the work.

“A key factor in the success of this project has been the collaborative approach between everyone involved,” said Barnes. “It’s been a real team effort to come up with the right solutions and undertake the works in the most efficient manner, with safety the number one priority.

“Long span bridges have a very long design life, meaning the quality of the work produced must be to the highest standard.”

Spencer Group managing director Gary Thornton added: “We’re delighted to have completed this important project to maintain the structural integrity of the Forth Road Bridge and to add it to our extensive track record over many years of delivering critical, high-level works on landmark crossings.

“The project showcased the expertise we bring to works such as this, which pose a range of major challenges. The solutions we put in place ensured critical components were replaced without having to interrupt traffic flows at any time.”

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