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Forth Road Bridge to get First Full Paint Job

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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Despite most traffic using the Queensferry Crossing, the older Forth Road Bridge, located on the Firth of Forth in east central Scotland, will be getting its first full paint job since the span opened in 1964.

Transport Scotland recently revealed that a trial was currently under development to paint the bridge’s main truss deck.

Updating the Paint

The 65 million-pound (roughly $91 million) paint job is slated to take 10 years to complete, even though specialist painters are set to start working on the 53-year-old bridge this year.

“The [Forth Road Bridge] main truss deck has never been painted since the time of its construction completion in 1964,” said Michelle Rennie, major transport infrastructure projects director at Transport Scotland.

Even though there have been regular patch repairs, “an extensive program of major painting and steelwork repair and refurbishment works are required to the exposed areas of steel,” noted Rennie.

Renata, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite most traffic using the Queensferry Crossing, the older Forth Road Bridge, located east central Scotland, will be getting its first full paint job since the span opened in 1964.

This work will be used to inform the long-term painting and refurbishing work that will occur over the next decade.

Given the bridge’s A-listed status, meaning it is a landmark, bridge chiefs are restricted to using the color gray. Existing pigment must be removed before this new work is completed, however.

Otherwise, much of the traffic that Forth Road Bridge once bore is now redirected to the Queensferry Crossing, although public transportation and pedestrians may still take Forth.

Bridge History

The proposal for the Queensferry Crossing came into being after an inspection of the Forth Road Bridge in 2004 revealed corrosion along the span’s main cables. From 2006 to 2007, the Forth Replacement Crossing Study was conducted to discover options for replacing the old bridge.

In December 2007, Scottish Ministers announced the construction of a new cable-stayed bridge to the west of the Forth Road Bridge, to be completed by 2016. The schedule was established in order to account for future weight restrictions that were predicted for the old bridge.

Other Work

In December 2015, an issue with a truss end link prompted an emergency closure of the Forth Road Bridge. After the incident, a contract for the replacement of the other seven truss end links was awarded. The work is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Another contract has also been awarded to replace the bridge’s main expansion joints this year, with a completion date set for 2019.

Other work will also include resurfacing and waterproofing.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Contract awards; EU; Europe; Infrastructure; Painting Contractors; Program/Project Management

Comment from Scott Youngs, (1/30/2018, 12:19 PM)

My question is, how did the bridge last that long before needing a repaint? 54 years is a long time...

Comment from Kevin Healey, (1/30/2018, 4:37 PM)

Wasn't it Metalsprayed?

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/31/2018, 8:21 AM)

Different climate, but the old lead painted bridges here in Texas commonly have the paint system last 50-60 years.

Comment from Scott Youngs, (1/31/2018, 10:45 AM)

My mistake, it is 53 years old. After a little research, as Kevin had thought, it was coated with thermally sprayed zinc before the topcoat of paint which has provided the long service life.

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