MSP Supports Caution Over Forth Bridge Cable Claims

Bill Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, has added his support to a caution by the Chief Engineer of the Forth Road Bridge against jumping to conclusions about the lifespan of the Bridge’s corroded main cables.
SNP MSP Mr Walker, who is also a Chartered Engineer and a former board member of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA), said:
“An inspection is currently scheduled to begin in April, with the findings being made available later in the year. I very much agree with the Chief Engineer’s advice that we need to let the experts carry out their investigation rather than people jumping to conclusions.”
The Chief Engineer, Barry Colford, said:
“Press reports suggesting that new findings on the condition of the cable are available are misinformed.
“While we are confident that our work will prove successful, there are no new findings at this stage and we must wait until this year’s internal inspection of the main cables is complete before reaching any conclusions.
“We are monitoring dry air going into the cables and dry air coming out, which is encouraging, however we won’t know how extensive an effect this had had until we open up the cables and take a look inside.”
Councillor Tony Martin, Convener of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, said the Bridge engineers had given themselves the best possible chance of success but that there were no guarantees with such pioneering work. He advised that the timescale takes into account disruptive weekday maintenance, required due to continuing wear and tear on the Bridge.

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