BEAR Scotland is set to install an innovative, automated barrier system on both sides of the Queensferry Crossing that will allow traffic to be diverted onto the Forth Road Bridge more quickly, should the Queensferry Crossing need to be closed for any reason.
Currently, if the Queensferry Crossing has to be closed, M90 traffic is diverted via Kincardine Bridge on the A985. Trials to manually erect the traffic management required for a diversion via the Forth Road Bridge have taken up to six hours, so Kincardine Bridge must still be used for any shorter-term closures.
The new automated barriers are expected to dramatically reduce the time it takes to implement a diversion via the Forth Road Bridge, removing the need for most of the manual work. Manufactured by SPIE in The Netherlands, they will be the first of their kind to be used in the UK.
The four-month construction programme is scheduled to get underway from the 19 June 2023. The project involves reconstruction of the central reserve and verges where the emergency links to the Forth Road Bridge connect to the M90 on both sides of the Queensferry Crossing. This will provide a new concrete foundation for the barrier system and a new running surface for vehicles, followed by the installation of the barrier system itself.
Works on the verge will be completed during the day with a hard shoulder closure. Works in the central reserve will take place at night to minimise disruption.
During the daytime there will be two lanes running in each direction at all times.
For the safety of workers and road users, the following lane and hard shoulder closures will be in place from 19 June:
Chris Tracey, BEAR Scotland South East Unit Bridge Manager says: “This new automated barrier scheme will improve the resilience of the trunk road network and minimise disruption. Work requiring lane restrictions will be carried out overnight wherever possible. The project is intended to be completed before next winter.”
Once the barriers are in place a trial run diverting traffic over the Forth Road Bridge will be undertaken to ensure they are operating correctly.
BEAR Scotland is leading this project as part of its responsibility for the South East Trunk Road Network on behalf of Transport Scotland. John Paul Construction is responsible for the completing the civils works and SPIE is responsible for the installation of the automated barrier system.
Motorists using the M90 during these works are encouraged to plan ahead before setting out by checking the Traffic Scotland website www.traffic.gov.scot for up-to-date travel information and allowing extra time for their journey.
Further information on the barrier system can be found in this YouTube video from the manufacturers SPIE: https://youtu.be/hz-XLCWF64g