Essential works to the Queen’s Bridge in Perth have been delayed for years until after the multi-million-pound Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR) has been completed.
Councillors agreed at a housing and environment meeting on Wednesday to push back the strengthening work on the above-deck section of the bridge until at least April 2024, despite concerns.
Perth City Centre’s Conservative councillor Chris Ahern raised timing fears, questioning if the essential works could be delayed again with the surface of the bridge showing cracks.
Councillor Ahern said: “We don’t know when the CTLR is going to be completed.
“Are we confident that the infrastructure of the bridge is going to last?
“If the CTLR is eight years away from being completed is that bridge going to last or are we going to be here again?”
The councillor also raised concerns about the effects of the strong river currents flowing underneath it.
Follow our special series at www.thecourier.co.uk/tay
Council officers moved to alleviate Mr Ahern’s fears by saying routine inspections would be carried out and that the overall structure of the bridge was unaffected by the surface cracks.
The officer said: “The bridge is not expected to deteriorate significantly in time period.”
The council report states: “Officers do not consider that the postponement of
these works would present any unacceptable risks.
“This is based on current information, however officers would continue to closely monitor the bridge structures and should the situation change all relevant action would be undertaken to ensure the safety of the travelling public.”
The work has been delayed on the above-deck element of the bridge to try to minimise disruption to traffic until after the CTLR is opened.
However works on the below-deck section will be carried out in the coming years.
The report states: “The modelling suggests that if these works take place before the CTLR opens, then the estimated traffic delays during the main above-deck
strengthening works would vary between one and two hours.
“In addition, up to 25% of bridge users would have to choose to
travel via Friarton Bridge / other routes or choose to travel out with peak traffic
times otherwise there would be a risk of traffic gridlock in the city centre area.
“However, after the CTLR opens, estimated journey times increases during the
above works could typically be around half an hour, with only a marginal
number of users required to adjust journey times out-with peak periods
to avoid potential gridlock in the city centre area.”