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Met Office helps keep builders of the new Forth Road Bridge safe

Met Office forecasts are playing an important role in keeping the construction of a vital link in Scotland's road network, the new Queensferry Crossing road bridge across the Forth, on schedule and construction workers safe.

With the help of detailed Project delivery the construction consortium,  Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), is able to keep the project running efficiently and manage any weather-related health and safety risks on site more effectively.

The bridge is being built for Tranport Scotland, the Scottish Government's transport agency. It will cross the Firth of Forth nearly 10 miles west of Edinburgh, beside the existing Forth Bridge and Forth Road Bridge. The construction programme faces many weather challenges, from winter gales and ice to fog reducing visibility as it rolls in from the North Sea.

Ken Clarke, Marine Liaison Officer for the FCBC, said: "Almost everything we do out on the waters of the Forth is weather dependent, so it is vitally important - not least to the health and safety of our construction personnel - that we have dependable, accurate and site-specific forecasts with which to plan our work schedules."

Aware of the challenges faced due to the weather, the Met Office continues to work with FCBC to help them mitigate the impacts on the construction plan and build.

  • "Intelligent" Virtual Met Mast™ and Virtual Met Mast Plus™TM gave detailed information on the climate of the build site before construction work commenced in 2011 which enabled the construction design team to evaluate and refine its structural designs to best mitigate any impact of the weather, and the project management team to assess schedules for the construction phase.
  • Our five-day site-specific forecast gives the construction team a detailed weather synopsis allowing them to plan activity with confidence.
  • Our web-based planning tool WeatherWindows helps the team to plan weather dependent on-site tasks and efficiently plan the hire of large and expensive equipment, up to 15 days ahead.

The project is currently on track to see the new bridge open to traffic by the end of 2016 when it will replace the current Forth Road Bridge as the main crossing for cross-Forth traffic.

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