Queensferry Crossing opening timetable ‘realistic’ but ‘not guaranteed’

North-central tower final deck liftEngineers building the new Queensferry Crossing have said there are no guarantees the bridge will open in May but added that the timetable is “realistic”.

Initially expected to be ready last December, the £1.325 billion project’s completion was postponed after bad weather delayed work.

Now due to open in May, the penultimate section of deck was lifted into place on Monday with the bridge expected to be fully joined up within the next fortnight, meaning the bridge will link Fife to the Lothians for the first time.

But project leaders insisted there was a lot of work still to be done with the weather capable of disrupting plans.

David Climie, Transport Scotland project director, said: “We’re on the Forth, there is never any guarantees on weather here.

“What is changing to a degree is we become less wind susceptible when we are working on the deck, particularly as the wind shielding gets installed but we become more susceptible to rain and low temperatures, particularly for the waterproofing and the road surfacing, so there are still challenges with the weather but we’re ready for them.”

Michael Martin, project director at the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), said: “We are adjusting our programme and our resources where they’re working every day, sometimes every hour of the day in order to maximise on the productivity that we can achieve in the conditions that are thrown at us.”

Given the recent closure of the Forth Road Bridge, the effectiveness of wind shielding on the new crossing was under scrutiny.

While never say never, experts say it would have to be “exceptional circumstances” to see the closure of the Queensferry Crossing because of high winds as wind speed would have to reach 115 mph to force the closed signs to go up.

The project remains within its budget.

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