Engineers have completed major improvements on the Forth Viaduct in Stirling, extending the lifespan of the bridge. Quadrant Transport looks at how this will ensure that work on this scale won’t be needed for another 25 years.
Work began on the Forth Viaduct in January when engineers put up scaffolding along a 20-metre span of the 10-metre-high bridge. This allowed the structure to be encapsulated so critical steelwork repairs could occur, including removing and replacing 300 steel rivets.
A Permanent Walkway Has Been Installed
Other elements of work involved grit blasting to remove old paint and rust before completely repainting the metalwork, with over 4500m2 of paint used.
More than 100 tonnes of grit was used as well as 3000 litres of paint taking in excess of 6000 hours worked to complete the blasting and painting operations.
A new permanent walkway was installed through the structure, and it provides access for Network Rail engineers to undertake general maintenance to the viaduct when required.
Now that work has been completed, Lovers Walk, which was closed to traffic for the duration of the project, has fully opened.
The Improvements Will Ensure The Forth Viaduct Is Future-proof
Allison Flanagan, Scheme Project Manager at Network Rail, said: “This work is part of a wider, rolling programme of renewals and improvements that are essential in allowing Network Rail to run a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight customers.
“The Forth Viaduct was one of our more challenging projects given it spans a river. However, we are well versed in tasks of this nature, delivering time and again improvements that help protect our vital assets for years to come, as we won’t need to re-paint the viaduct for at least another to two decades.”
I would like to thank the community for their patience during delivery of the work, which for safety reasons also meant having a road closure and traffic management in place throughout. We’re very appreciative of their understanding.
The Forth Viaduct crosses the River Forth in Stirling, near Cambuskenneth, and the project is part of a wide-ranging bridge modernisation programme aimed at protecting and improving Scotland’s Railway, with over £4 billion being invested to increase reliability and improve performance.