The Forth Road Bridge has reopened after workers battled to repair damage caused by an overturned lorry.
The 54-year-old driver sparked travel chaos for thousands of people in the
central belt during the morning and evening commutes, after apparently ignoring signs warning the bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles as gusts reached 75mph.
While no one was injured when the HGV blew over at around 2am, the
incident caused significant damage to the structure’s central reservation and the bridge has been closed for most of the day. It reopened at 9pm.
Work to remove the overturned HGV and to temporarily repair the damaged central reservation safety grill was completed in difficult weather conditions.
However forecast poor weather may force a further closure of the bridge to HGVs.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf praised the Forth Road bridge team for their effort in getting the bridge open.
He said: “Once again, the Forth Road Bridge team has stepped up to repair the bridge. They have successfully removed the overturned HGV and carried out temporary repair work to the damaged central reserve safety grille on the bridge.
“I would like to pay tribute to the engineers and workers who have faced up to some very challenging and difficult weather conditions throughout the day, to complete the work and get the bridge reopened as quickly and as safely as possible.
“There are and will continue to be a number of severe weather warnings in place for the next few days. So, this is a timely reminder of the importance of listening to advice, checking travel bulletins before travelling and obeying VMS messaging, road restrictions and signed advice.
“Conditions over the coming days will inevitably lead to some difficult driving conditions. Gritting teams will be out across the period to help keep the trunk roads moving. Gritters will also be patrolling at strategic locations on the network to make sure that they can respond to any emerging issues.
“Key routes are being monitored across our network of weather stations and live cameras and the Traffic Scotland National Traffic Control Centre will take all of this information and send it out to road users through the website and Traffic Scotland twitter feed on a 24/7 basis.
“We would ask that people keep the conditions in mind when they are making their travel plans and leave plenty of time. We are making as much information available as possible to allow the public to make informed decisions.
“The winter treatments page on the Traffic Scotland website has details of which routes are being treated and our Trunk Road Gritter Tracker lets road users see where gritters have been out in the last 24 hours.
“Travel operators’ websites will have all of the relevant information on ferries, rail and air and Traffic Scotland has a webpage with all of these links. The advice is to check before travel to make sure that you get to your destination safely.”
Mark Arndt, Amey’s operating company representative for the Forth Road Bridge said: “It’s been a challenging day but our team has put in a tremendous amount of effort to get the HGV off the bridge and complete the repair work while battling with strong winds, rain and sleet.
“We’re pleased that the bridge has now been reopened but we are mindful that with adverse weather forecast for the coming days, there may be further restrictions.
“We’d urge drivers to check our website or the Traffic Scotland twitter feed for up-to-date travel information before they start their journey. And, of course, we’d strongly recommend that road users comply with any restrictions.”