Work to replace damaged “truss end links” that led to the closure of the Forth Road Bridge at the end of last year has started.
Amey, working on behalf of Transport Scotland, commenced work on site at the North East main span – where the original fracture occurred.
The truss end links are being replaced with a new permanent sliding bearing arrangement to be fixed to the tower beneath the existing end post. Structural health monitoring installed during the initial repairs will continue to be developed to provide engineers with ongoing live data.
Thanks to the extra support provided by the temporary brackets installed on the main towers in February, this final phase to replace the links can be carried out below deck level with minimal disruption to road users.
Work at the North East main span is expected to be complete by the end of the year, with the remaining seven links due to be replaced in a contract to be let in 2017.
Mark Arndt, operating company representative for the Forth Bridges Unit, said: “We’re delighted to be commencing work on the full replacement of the truss end links with a completely new redesigned arrangement.
“The repairs carried out last winter were necessary to get the bridge back open to traffic as quickly and safely as possible. Since then we’ve been planning and preparing for this permanent replacement and it’s remarkable that the team has reached this point less than nine months since the original defect was discovered.
“We’ll press on now to get the job done with minimum disruption to bridge users.”