The Forth Road Bridge – wishing for a Happy New Year!!

December didn’t get off to a great start for many Scottish commuters with lane restrictions and the closure of the southbound carriageway on the Forth Road Bridge due to the discovery of a defect in the steelwork of the 51 year old structure.

Robert McCulloch, the engineer who discovered the crack told the First Minister: “I just saw it out of the corner of my eye and I said to myself ‘I hope that isn’t what I think it is’. and after a few days of long tailbacks and Engineers working on temporary repairs the announcement we were hoping not to hear was made:

Following the news, there were lots of numbers to consider:

  • 11 – the number of miles in one tailback to the Kincardine Bridge
  • 20 – the width of the crack in millimeters
  • 6,500  – the number of extra train seats made available
  • 100,000 – the average number of people travelling over the River Forth on a typical working day
  • 600,000 – the increased daily operating cost to Haulage industry as estimated by Road Haulage Association

Traffic Scotland and the Forth Road Bridge shared advice on alternative routes….and so did Allan Miller, who posted his take on alternative travel plans:

TRAFFIC SCOTLAND. FORTH ROAD BRIDGE CLOSURE TRAVEL PLAN. PLEASE SHARE.This diversion for cars and light vehicles…

Posted by Allan Miller on Monday, 7 December 2015

And as questions were raised as to how this had happened and where blame lay, many tried to see the funny side of things and help keep our spirits up:

Some even got quite emotional about it, with Traffic Scotland sending out a message of love to the Bridge whilst BBC Scottish Business/Economy Editor, Douglas Fraser, shared that both he and the FRB were the same age and had “both been carrying something more of a load factor than is assumed or advisable in the design spec”.traffic_scotland

We’ve also seen the work of engineers and welders on the Bridge itself, including an incredible drone video showing engineers hanging from large sections of the bridge, making repairs on supports and checking the structure:

Today we have heard news that the Bridge is due to be reopened on the 4th of January, just in time for most businesses returning from the Christmas break. There are many who aren’t yet convinced of this and continue to look at alternative plans to keep themselves and their organisations moving.

As for ourselves at Escape Recruitment, this has meant an increase in use of video meetings and interviews, continuing to work collaboratively with colleagues from both sides of the bridge to ensure we deliver our services effectively for our clients and candidates and opening up our office space to employees of our clients who have been unable to reach their own offices.

Whatever happens in the New Year, we hope that you and your business keep moving and have a happy 2016.

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