Scotland’s transport bosses have reviewed bridges across the world as part of efforts to prevent ice forming on the Queensferry Crossing.
However, Transport Scotland says it has not found any method or technology that would completely remove the problem of ice-build up.
Internationally, most operators close their bridges and wait for ice to fall.
Bridge operator BEAR Scotland said a bespoke system of weather sensors meant it could monitor conditions and take action.
Currently most operators close the bridge and wait for the ice to fall.”
Hugh Gillies, Transport Scotland.
It’s long-term goal, however, is to find a solution that would prevent ice forming in the first place.
Director of roads Hugh Gillies said: “The better we understand the conditions that cause this issue, the greater our chances of success.”
In a letter to Labour MSP Alex Rowley, Mr Gillies said: “Every bridge has different design details and operates in a different climate.
“Therefore, there is no off-the-shelf solution that is suitable for the Queensferry Crossing and any viable solution will be bespoke.
“A review of measure on other bridges has been undertaken to explore the options available for the Queensferry Crossing.
“The review indicates that whilst many methods of prevention and removal have been studied, tested and deployed, no sing method or technology has been found to be completely successful in mitigating the problem or removing ice build-up.”
‘It’s good that they’re trying’
Mr Gillies said that internationally, bridge owners have devised monitoring and forecasting systems to give advance warning of the risk of ice.
“As a completely successful prevention or removal methodology has not been identified, currently most operators close the bridge and wait for the ice to fall,” he said.
The Forth Road Bridge will be used as a short-term diversion during emergency situations in the meantime.
This option will be available once the replacement of expansion joints is complete.
Mr Rowley welcomed the efforts made to keep the Queensferry Crossing open.
“The Queensferry Crossing is key to the Fife economy,” he said.
“We see the impact it has on individual lives when it is closed.
“Bearing that in mind, they have to find a solution.
“It’s good that they’re trying because we live in a climate where we get ice.”