THE Queensferry Crossing has been delayed once again, with the opening now expected by the end of August this year.
The Forth Road Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) has said it needs more time to complete the project due to the number of clear weather windows being fewer than expected, delaying weather dependent works.
Tower cranes used on the project can only be removed in wind speeds less than 25mph and no work can be performed within a 50-metre radius of the crane during that time. Other works affected include work on cable stays, which is sensitive to wind, and waterproofing of the bridge deck, which is sensitive to rain.
Economy secretary Keith Brown has informed the Parliament’s REC Committee the expected opening date of the Queensferry Crossing will now be achieved in a window between mid-July and the end of August – between four and six weeks later than predicted.
He commented, “There are only nine weeks remaining to the end of May and the review has concluded that even with the best weather this date is not now safely achievable.
“I fully recognise the effort of the workforce in building this amazing new bridge. Over 13 million hours have gone into building the Queensferry Crossing over the past six years.”
He added, “There is no additional cost to the public purse and the Forth Road Bridge continues to carry traffic over the Forth during these final weeks of construction. While its clearly very disappointing the new bridge won’t be ready ahead of the contractual completion date, I believe it is important to take the time to make sure the bridge is built in the safest possible circumstances to the highest possible standards.”
Sally Cox, chair of the board for the FCBC, said, “FCBC acknowledge that the uniqueness of this project and the onerous weather conditions it has experienced, particularly working at height crossing the Forth have created more challenges than we anticipated.
“FCBC have always been and remain ambitious about completing this challenging project at the earliest possible date and share Transport Scotland and the public’s frustration over this delay. We have assured Transport Scotland that every endeavour is and will continue to be made, to safely complete the project at the earliest opportunity.”