Major improvement works have been completed on the Forth Viaduct in Sterling, with engineers successfully restored the structure, thus expanding its lifespan for another 25 years. This project comes as 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.
This project began in January, seeing engineers erect scaffolding around the 20-metre span of the 10m high bridge. This allowed the workers to then remove and replace up to 300 steel rivets, as well as grit blasting the structure to remove old paint and rust. Over 100 tonnes of grit was used to prepare the surface for a complete repainting of the metalworks, seeing over 4500m2 of paint used. These works accumulated to more than 6000 hours of tireless work to ensure completion in a timely fashion.
The project also saw the installation of a new permanent walkway through the structure, which will provide future engineers ease of access to undertake future requisite maintenance works.
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 is 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.”
Projects of this size often cause mass disruptions due to closures of integral infrastructures, such as Lovers Walk, which was closed to traffic for the duration of the works. Upon the completion, this has now fully reopened, allowing the local community to return to regular daily travels.
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