Graeme Dey, Scotland’s Transport Minister, has visited the site of £7.5m renovation works being carried out on the North Queensferry approach span.
Starting in February 2021, Network Rail have been carrying out refurbishment on the approach span to the Forth Bridge, with the main bulk of the work having started earlier this month.
Mr Dey was shown first-hand the progress which has been made so far.
Mr Dey said: “It’s been fascinating to see the bridge from this perspective and I was particularly pleased to be able to talk to the team carrying out this work and get an understanding of their skill and dedication, which is essential when carrying out such important work on this iconic structure which has been a vital part of Scotland’s Railway for over a century.
“It was really interesting to see the difference between the steel both before and after the treatment and witness the efforts that go in to maintaining a 130-year-old bridge.”
“I was also pleased to hear about the efforts the team is making to engage and listen to the North Queensferry community. I appreciate work of this nature, such as grit blasting (removing layers of old paint) can be noisy, but it is necessary and will help ensure the north approach to the structure is protected long into the future.”
Once completed, the refurbished steelwork is to be repainted in the iconic Forth Bridge colour - a job which will see it protected for another three decades.
The project is expected to be completed in early 2022.
Funded by the Scottish Government, the project forms part of Network Rail’s five-year £4bn programme of investment into Scotland’s Railway between 2019 and 2024.
Mark Wilson, Project Manager at Network Rail, added: “We were delighted to be able to welcome the new transport minister to site and for members of the team to have the chance to share the passion and knowledge they have for this project with him.
“This investment, not only ensures the bridge remains one of the most recognisable structures in the world, but is crucial in our efforts to maintain a safe and reliable railway for years to come.