£7.5m renovation of North Queensferry approach to the Forth Bridge gets underway
A £7.5m project to refurbish and repaint the North Queensferry approach span to the Forth Bridge has begun.
The project began in February 2021, and is part of Network Rail’s five-year programme of investment in Scotland’s Railway between 2019 and 2024.
Efforts have been taken to engage with the North Queensferry community to minimise disruption and work together with residents.
Mark Wilson, Project Manager at Network Rail, said: “Our investment in this work will not only ensure the bridge remains one of the most recognisable structures in the world but will be crucial in our efforts to maintain a safe and reliable railway for years to come.”
Grit-blasting work to remove layers of old paint from the north approach span has now begun.
Engineers from contractor Balfour Beatty will then repaint the approach using the iconic Forth Bridge red – which will last for up to three decades.
Train services have not been disrupted, and the project is expected to be completed in early 2022.
The project will impact the local community significantly, with risks of air, light and noise pollution.
Network Rail are making an effort to work alongside the North Queensferry community which sits underneath the north approach, and have set up weekly meetings with the community council.
Iain Mitchell Q.C., chair of North Queensferry Community Council said: “The communication at the start of this project was not very good, but Network Rail has very much got its act together.
“There are still issues which arise and need to be sorted out, but there’s a much better feeling now that there is a functioning medium of communication.”
Network Rail have also installed a notice board directly underneath the approach at the site of the works, to keep local people updated.
North Queensferry resident Jacqui Low added: “You don’t choose to live under a bridge with trains on it and not expect there to be maintenance.
“Network Rail have picked up their feet in the last few months, and it’s very much more a partnership now than I felt it was last year.”
Mark Wilson from Network Rail said: “We’d just like to thank the community for their patience and understanding.”