Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Forth Road Bridge: Increase in wire breaks prompts inspection

Forth Road Bridge Image copyright PA
Image caption An acoustic monitoring system was installed in 2006 after the discovery of corrosion within the main cables

A special inspection of one of the Forth Road Bridge's main cables has been ordered after an increase in wire breaks.

The inspection will focus on the cable on the east side of the crossing, near the top of the south tower.

Each of the main cables is made up of almost 12,000 individual steel wires. The bridge authorities said there are "no immediate safety concerns".

Special microphones are used to identify the sound of a wire snapping.

The acoustic monitoring system was installed in 2006.

Barry Colford, Forth Road Bridge chief engineer and bridgemaster, said: "The main cable acoustic monitoring system is designed to give us early warning of potential problems within the cable.

"I would therefore stress that, while this increase in wire breaks does merit further investigation, there are no immediate safety concerns and the cables still have more than enough strength to do their job.

"The inspection that we are now carrying out is purely to determine whether the recent increase in the rate and concentration of wire breaks is indicative of a longer term problem.

"Once we know the results of this inspection we will recommend any further action that is required to ensure the bridge remains safe and open to traffic."

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