Forth Road Bridge Closure, Scotland, Plans, Fracture, Design, Construction, Photo, Proposal

Forth Road Bridge, Scotland : Architecture

River Crossing Structure Crack – Repairs News, Defective Steelwork: Closure – Engineering

23 + 20 Feb 2016

Forth Road Bridge Full Opening

Forth Road Bridge Full Opening News

The Forth Road Bridge reopened to heavy goods vehicles at 23:00 on 20 February 2016, after complex repair works were completed as planned and monitoring showed the load-bearing capacity of the structure has been restored.

New brackets and cables are now taking the load at the critical northeast, southeast and southwest main span tower legs. Monitoring and tests carried out by Amey engineers confirmed that the bridge can now take unrestricted HGVs and operate safely.

This means that the bridge will be open to the same classes of vehicle that could use the bridge prior to the closure in December 2015 – i.e. all vehicles up to 44 tonnes, and escorted abnormal loads up to 150 tonnes.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “The team has pulled out all of the stops to get the bridge ready to reopen as soon as possible. The inspections and the monitoring equipment that we have on the bridge show it is operating well and that HGVs can run on it again.”

Mark Arndt, Amey’s Operating Company Representative for the Forth Bridges Unit, said: “We’re delighted to be able to fully reopen the bridge to HGVs. I’d like to thank the travelling public, hauliers and HGV drivers for the patience and understanding that they have shown during this unprecedented time.

“The project to repair and strengthen the bridge has been large and complex, mobilised at very short notice at the most difficult time of year. Great credit is due to all the staff and contractors involved.”


22 Dec 2015

Forth Road Bridge Opening

Forth Road Bridge Opening News

The Forth Road Bridge is to reopen on Wednesday after temporary repairs were completed ahead of schedule, reports the BBC this morning. It will open at 6am to all traffic except HGVs. It should reopen to HGVs in mid-February.

Queensfeerry Crossing Scotland

The partial opening of the bridge follows load testing, including sending lorries over the bridge in different patterns over five hours of tests on Saturday.

Forth Road Bridge Opening: – BBC article, 22 Dec 2015

17 Dec 2015

Forth Road Bridge Inquiry

Forth Road Bridge Closure Inquiry News

Information on the Scottish Parliament website:

At its meeting on 16 December 2015 the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Forth Road Bridge. Specifically, the remit of the inquiry is:

“To examine the management, monitoring and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge principally in the 10 year period prior to its closure on public safety grounds in December 2015.”

While the Committee understands that the closure of the Bridge has brought frustration to travellers and significant impact upon many businesses, it agreed that its inquiry will focus on the structural defects identified and whether these could have been avoided or dealt with differently. The Committee acknowledged that these related and hugely important issues might however be investigated at a later stage.

See more at:

An independent technical adviser will be taken on as part of the Scottish Parliament committee inquiry, which will begin in January 2016

The bridge was closed to all traffic on 4 December after a crack was discovered in a truss under the carriageway.

Engineers from Amey hope to have it repaired and open to traffic again by 4 January.

The inquiry aims to call officials from bridge operator Amey, its predecessor the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, Transport Scotland staff and the transport secretary Derek Mackay.

The remit of the inquiry is “to examine the management, monitoring and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge principally in the 10 year period prior to its closure on public safety grounds in December 2015.”

Committee convener Jim Eadie said: “While we welcome the government’s announcement that the bridge is expected to reopen early in the New Year, legitimate questions have been raised about why the bridge had to be closed and whether the structural problems identified could have been avoided or dealt with differently.

“The committee has agreed that these questions should be addressed in a focused, timely and transparent manner.”

Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay, who was praised at the committee for his transparency over the matter, welcomed the inquiry.

He said: “To date our absolute focus has rightly been on getting the bridge reopened as quickly and safely as possible, and ensuring a credible travel plan is in place to minimise disruption. I don’t think anyone would question that approach, and it’s important the engineers and experts have had space to fully concentrate on the complex repairs.

“I welcome the ICI committee’s decision to hold an inquiry, once the bridge has reopened, and I look forward to participating in that process. From day one I have been open and accountable. I have also been fully accessible, updating Parliament, speaking to the media on a daily basis, chairing a technical briefing for MSPs, and keeping stakeholders and political representatives up to date, I have taken every opportunity to be transparent on this issue of national importance – that will continue to be the case.

“I am confident that when the engineers – including those with 30 years’ experience of working on the FRB and the independent experts – get the chance to provide evidence to the committee, including the unpredictable nature of the fault, then people will see that the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland have taken difficult but decisive action and have behaved in a responsible manner.”

10 Dec 2015

Forth Road Bridge Fix

Forth Road Bridge Crack Fix

Plans to fix the problem which forced the closure of the Forth Road Bridge have now been finalised.

In the week since the closure, Amey’s team of engineers have been working around the clock to develop a solution to a crack on one of the bridge’s truss end links.

The repair solution, which involves a plate welded repair to the damaged truss end link and jacking the link into position, has now been checked and verified by two independent specialist engineering firms.

An access platform to allow repair works to get underway is being constructed. The platform will permit teams of welders to work day and night, when weather conditions permit.

Chartered Engineer Mark Arndt, Amey’s account director responsible for the bridge, said: “Our teams have been working 24/7 since the defect was identified a little over a week ago. Our design teams have finalised the detailed solution plan, the access platform is under construction and we’ve mobilised all the resources we need to begin the repair works.

“Progress of the repair work is vulnerable to weather conditions. Wind speeds at times make it unsafe for our people to continue but by having our personnel on standby at the bridge and by monitoring live wind-speed data in our control room we’re able to get straight back out to work on the repairs in every available window and our programme remains on schedule for completion in the New Year.”

In addition to repairing the defect, Amey is taking preventative action on another seven similar locations on the bridge to prevent any issues from occurring and structural monitoring systems are also being installed at these locations.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “Our priority is to get the Forth Road Bridge operating as soon as possible and our engineers are doing all they can to make that possible.

“They are working tirelessly on designs for the repair and are putting the equipment they need in place so that it can be completed in good time.

“It is difficult and technical work and the team is to be commended on its commitment to getting the job completed despite the weather conditions.”

7 Dec 2015
Forth Road Bridge Work Cancellation

The closure of the Forth Road Bridge could have been avoided if it were not for the “incompetence” of government agency Transport Scotland, an engineer has claimed, reports Construction News Scotland.

John Carson, who led the team behind the Skye Bridge, said condemned the government agency for ditching plans to strengthen part of the bridge five years ago adding that Friday’s closure could be directly linked to that decision.

John Carson, former head of Miller Civil Engineering, also warned that commuters face months of disruption as a consequence.

The Forth Road Bridge closure came after fractures were spotted in a load-bearing beam called a “truss end link member” in the north-east tower. The member is part of a linkage system which, as documents from 2010 show, was found to “be significantly overstressed”. A strengthening programme was ordered and then almost immediately cancelled.

4 Dec 2015

Forth Road Bridge Closure

The Forth Road Bridge (FRB) is to shut until the New Year for repairs following the discovery of defective steelwork.

The decision to close has been taken after inspections carried out by specialist engineers and following advice and assessment of the fault by independent experts.

A range of options for carrying out the repair work has been considered including running traffic on the bridge while repair work is in progress.

Forth Road Bridge
Forth Road Bridge photo © Adrian Welch

However, even with a restriction in place on HGVs using the FRB, continual running of traffic over the bridge increases the risk of causing extensive secondary damage to the structure.

Further damage to the bridge would require a full closure for a much longer period in order to carry out repairs.

Work is already under way to repair the FRB and this will be done as quickly as possible with a view that it will be reopened to traffic to allow it to be used for the return to work in January.

Additional rail capacity was put on overnight and a full travel plan is being prepared for the duration of the closure.

This will include further additional rail services. All other options are being explored including a dedicated bus corridor with park and ride facilities and passenger ferry services across the Forth.

The Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) will continue to meet over the weekend and further updates will be provided and a dedicated webpage for travel information will be created.

New Forth Road Bridge
Forth Road Bridge photograph © Adrian Welch

Emergency vehicles will still be able to use the FRB in bluelight situations.

Transport minister Derek MacKay said: “The decision to close the Forth Road Bridge is not taken lightly. It is based on the expert opinion of the engineers who operate the bridge day to day and that of independent experts in the field.

“Every effort is being made to open the bridge as quickly as possible but safety is the main priority, however these works are weather dependent given the height and location of the bridge. We are aware of the potential economic impact, for strategic traffic in the east of Scotland and on people living in local communities.

“This is an unprecedented challenge in the maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge. On balance following advice from engineers and independent experts, the full closure is essential for the safety of the travelling public and to prevent further damage to the structure of the bridge.

New Forth Road Bridge
Forth Road Bridge image © Adrian J Welch

“The bridge operators Amey have a robust inspection team is in place and these defects are problems that have only occurred in the last number of weeks.

“We are taking every step we can to lessen the impact of this closure. Action now, will mean that any closure is much shorter than it might be if we waited. We continue to work closely with all partners to co-ordinate our efforts to lessen the impact of this closure. Additional bus and rail services are being provided between Fife and Edinburgh. Every effort and resource available is being deployed to repair the damage to the Forth Road Bridge and minimise the disruption to the public.”

Forth Road Bridge Scotland
Forth Road Bridge: image © AJ Welch

Chartered Engineer Mark Arndt, Amey’s account director responsible for the bridge, said: “This is a complex engineering challenge. The component failure is in a difficult to access location and our response is also highly dependent on weather conditions.

“We continue to work around the clock on inspections, assessments and calculations along with the development of designs to effect the necessary repairs, while at the same time mobilising all the resources required to reopen the bridge as soon as is possible.”

Website: Forth Road Bridge Closure – BBC article, 4 Dec 2015

Forth Road Bridge Scotland

1. New Forth Bridge – News
2. Canopy by Reiach and Hall Architects

New Forth Bridge : details

Forth Bridge Construction Forth Bridge

1. New Forth Bridge – News Summary

Dec 2007 Update:
The Forth Replacement Crossing is to be a cable-stayed bridge upstream of the existing road bridge. Arup in control with help from danish architects Dissing + Weitling

Sep 2007 Update:
A Parliamentary motion calling for a new Forth crossing that can include light rail has won support from Scottish business groups

Aug 2007 Update:
Public information exhibition on proposals for replacement Forth crossing open at North Queensferry and Edinburgh + other locations in Fife, Tayside & Lothians over next few weeks. Two final options shortlisted: bridge or tunnel to west of existing Forth Road Bridge.

According to a survey the road tunnel is clear favourite but the cheaper suspension bridge is apparently recommended by Transport Scotland

Jul 2007 Update:
The new Toll is to be demolished after only 1 year in existence, reportedly around Dec 2007

Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) presented the results of a feasibility study in Jun 2004 for a 2.2km long second Forth Road Bridge. News items re the New Forth Road Bridge can be found at:

Queensfeerry Crossing
image courtesy of

Jan 2006 Update:
News in the last week suggests a third crossing is looking more likely, though a campaign is ongoing

Apr 2005 Update: The FETA Convener is reported to be still supportive of the second Forth Crossing despite the ForthRight Alliance – Cockburn Association, Friends of the Earth Scotland and TRANSform Scotland – campaign against it in favour of stronger rail links

Forth Road Bridges Scotland
Forth Road Bridge + Forth Rail Bridge image © Adrian Welch

Forth Bridge
image © Adrian Welch

Forth Road Bridge cables
photo © architect Adrian Welch

2. Forth Road Bridge Toll Booth Canopy + Admin Building Extension
for Forth Estuary Transport Authority
Forth Road Bridge Toll : Road Toll Canopy

Photos: 26 Jul 2006 ; Site Photo: 30 Mar 2006
Forth Road Bridge Toll Toll Canopy

photos © architect Adrian Welch

Exclusive Toll Canopy images: 24 Sep 2004
Toll Canopy in Scotland by Reiach and Hall Architects Toll Canopy by Reiach and Hall Architects
Toll Canopy by Reiach and Hall Architects

New Toll + Admin Extension
Reiach and Hall Architects have just successfully gained planning permission for a new Toll Booth Canopy and extension to the Administration Building sited on the southern approach to the Forth Road Bridge.

Forth Road Bridge, Scotland
FETA Admin Building by Reiach and Hall Architects

The unique steel and expanded metal Canopy stands alone straddling the southern carriageway.

Dark blue/black brick and glass form the new extension to the existing FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority) administration building. This new single storey, courtyard building provides additional FETA admin offices, a boardroom and new public toilets.

The Forth Road Bridge is 2.5km long woth 156m high concrete H-frame towers and is almost parallel with the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge to the east.

Edinburgh Architectural Designs

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

New Town Harvey Nichols

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Forth Rail Bridge
Sir John Fowler & Sir Benjamin Baker 1883-1890

Comments / photos for the Forth Road Bridge Architecture page welcome