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Wind shields on new crossing will help avoid motoring misery

The overturned lorry on the Forth Road Bridge.
The overturned lorry on the Forth Road Bridge.

As traffic gets back to normal a day after the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, better news comes from the under-construction Queensferry Crossing.

Due to open in May, the £1.325 billion bridge will feature wind shields which could “almost entirely” do away with the need to close to traffic during high winds.

Wednesday’s disruption was caused when a lorry driver appeared to ignore warning signs and drove on to the bridge during high winds.

The northbound HGV overturned on to the southbound carriageway, causing extensive damage to the central reservation safety grille and motoring misery for thousands.

But the flagship neighbouring bridge will include 2.7 metre high shields which will break up and deflect gusts of wind.

In fact they have already shown their effectiveness – while the drama was unfolding on the 52-year-old Forth Road Bridge on Wednesday, work was able to continue on a section of road at the Ferrytoll junction where the wind shields have already been installed.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Wind shields are included as part of the design on both sides of the Queensferry Crossing’s deck and will be a permanent feature of the new bridge.

“The shields are designed to reduce the impact of wind on traffic travelling over the bridge.

“We expect the wind shields to almost entirely eliminate the need for closures during the frequent periods of high winds in the Forth estuary, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

“This will increase the resilience of what will be the main crossing over the Forth estuary in future.

“The wind shields have been fully tested prior to installation and performance will be monitored after the bridge is open and operational in May this year.”

 

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