TWO STUDIES to investigate ways of tackling severe rusting in the main cables of the Forth Road bridge in Scotland were commissioned in November.
Bridge operator Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) will spend $4.67M weighing up cable drying and cable replacement as ways to tackle cable corrosion in the 4km suspension bridge.
The move follows a report by Faber Maunsell last month warning that if rusting was not halted the bridge would have to close to traffic by 2019.
FETA has already allocated $3.8M for cable inspection and installation of acoustic monitoring to detect cable breaks, bringing spending to $8.5M before any work is carried out to deal with the problem.
'Our immediate concern is to make sure the bridge operates as safely as possible for as long as possible. We are addressing the cable corrosion as an immediate priority, ' said FETA chairman Lawrence Marshall.
Tolls will be increased to help meet the costs.