The Forth Road Bridge reopened over the weekend after repairs to the managed main span truss end links were completed.
Improved weather conditions have allowed bridge operator Amey to finish this phase of the works ahead of schedule. Another factor has been the decision to re-engineer the construction phase to enable the majority of the steelwork fabrication to be done offsite thus minimising the impact of the weather.
The bridge has open to 99% of road users since the 23 December, with Amey striving to complete the strengthening programme to allow classes of vehicles to be able to use the bridge again.
A phased introduction for HGVs has been in operation over the past two weeks, with around 1600 HGVs utilising the night time operating hours.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay welcomed the news of the Forth Road Bridge fully reopening, commenting: “I know that this is something that will be welcomed by the tens of thousands of drivers who use the bridge on a daily basis, especially the heavy goods vehicle drivers who have had to observe restricted crossing times in the past few weeks. I would like to thank them for their patience during this time and stress again that safety and the long-term integrity of the bridge had to be our main considerations. We did all we could to assist the HGV community on an operational level and they have shown great forbearance.
“Tribute should be paid to the engineering team that has been relentless in its commitment to getting this structure reopened. The team has worked tirelessly throughout despite very challenging weather conditions, employing innovative approaches to the repairs and putting in place very effective solutions to complex problems.
“The sophisticated monitoring systems that have been installed on the bridge will remain. The operators Amey have also taken the opportunity to give the Forth Road Bridge a full structural a health check and undertaken routine maintenance lessening the need for further closures.”