More delays ahead as Queensferry Crossing deadline slips

Drivers on the Queensferry Crossing are facing yet more delays after officials admitted work to complete the bridge had been delayed for a third time.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 11:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 5:53 am
Snagging is lagging on the Queensferry Crossing. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Scottish Government has revealed to Scotland on Sunday that contractors will not finish all those tasks due by the end of the year and had also found extra work was needed.

It means lane closures which have caused evening tailbacks could be extended further.

Snagging and finishing work on the £1.35 billion bridge between Edinburgh and Fife was originally due to have been completed in September – a year after it opened. However, this was later put back to October next year.

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Under that revised programme, 14 of the remaining 21 tasks such as painting, lighting and concreting were scheduled to be done by 31 December.

However, the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said not all of these would be finished.

A spokesman said: “Our contractor Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) has progressed the snagging and finishing works and the majority of those scheduled for completion in 2018 will be delivered.

“We are aware of other areas where FCBC have experienced difficulty in mobilising the resources they require, where additional snagging has been identified and where weather has impacted on progress.”

Transport Scotland did not say whether the lane closures were likely to be extended.

The spokesman said: “The type of works that remain to be completed can take place with traffic using the bridge, because they do not compromise operations or safety. All of these works are being carried out under the terms of the existing contract and within existing project budgets. There is no additional cost to the public purse.”

Commuters are already impatient at ongoing hold-ups while the work continues.

One said this month: “I arrived at the bridge at 9.30pm, heading towards Fife, and the queue was terrible – as bad as it was a couple of months ago. It snaked back half a mile.”

Neil Greig, policy and research director of the IAM RoadSmart motoring group, said: “Weather delays at this time of year are no surprise, but it is worrying that ‘mobilising resources’ is an issue.

“An end date needs to be set and delivered, so drivers can finally relax and get on with using this vital piece of new infrastructure.”