The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Forth crossing delays will ‘not cost taxpayers’

Bridge will not now open in December

- Mark mclaughlin

The taxpayer will not have to pay any more money for the new Forth road bridge as a result of delays that have pushed its opening date back by six months, Scotland’s Economy Secretary has pledged.

The Queensferr­y Crossing will not open by the end of the year as planned due to “adverse weather conditions” in April and May affecting constructi­on, Keith Brown said.

Engineers had hoped to complete the bridge by December 2016 but that timescale has now slipped.

The bridge is still expected to open before its contractua­l completion date in mid-2017, Keith Brown told MSPs in a statement to parliament.

Last week, contractor Forth Crossing Bridge Constructo­rs (FCBC) submitted an update of the impact of the weather on the progress to date.

Mr Brown said the project has “encountere­d a series of challenges” meaning the “contractor­s’ contingenc­y time has been used up”.

He said: “Since deck-lifting operations commenced in September 2015, the downtime due to adverse weather, specifical­ly wind, has been 40% compared to the 25% anticipate­d by the contractor.

“Until May, FCBC believed that they could mitigate these weather effects.

“However, the impact of the weather in April and May was particular­ly severe, with 13 days and 12 days lost to weather respective­ly.

“As a result, FCBC have advised ministers that due to the combined effects of the time lost in these two months they can no longer deliver the December 2016 target opening date.

“The Queensferr­y Crossing is now expected to be open by mid-May 2017, prior to the contractua­l completion date of mid-June 2017,” he said.

“There will be no additional cost to taxpayers and our previous projection of a £245 million saving remains.”

Mr Brown repeated that there will be “no impact on the budget” as a result of the delay, insisting any additional cost will be “at the expense of the contractor”.

 ??  ?? The Queensferr­y crossing at an earlier stage of constructi­on.
The Queensferr­y crossing at an earlier stage of constructi­on.
 ??  ?? Keith Brown says the bridge project has encountere­d a series of challenges.
Keith Brown says the bridge project has encountere­d a series of challenges.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom