For the second week in a row, falling ice closed Scotland’s flagship road bridge – just weeks after Transport Minister Michael Matheson said that lessons had been learned.
At 4:45 a.m., the Queensferry Crossing, which connects Edinburgh and Fife, was closed to car traffic in both directions. Owing to “persistent weather conditions, including ice and snowfall.” Friday. After being closed for more than four hours, it reopened after rush hour.
After news of ice falling on vehicles in February, Transport Scotland was previously criticised for a lack of action.
When the £ 1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing opened, in all weather conditions, it was expected to stay open.
To ensure the bridge would not be closed by high winds, it was fitted with 3.5-meter-high barriers.
And early last month, it announced efforts to avoid the problem with the mounted ice sensors.
Infrastructure Minister Michael Matheson indicated that the government had learned a lesson from last winter when, following warnings of ice falling on vehicles, the crossing, the product of the largest infrastructure project in Scotland in a decade, was closed.
More gritters than ever & new ice sensors on the #QueensferryCrossing: @MathesonMichael, transport minister, announces winter preparations as we work to keep the trunk roads of Scotland running with @PoliceScotland and @MetOffice.
Read more at pic.twitter.com/qMRoA2giNmm https://t.co/KFmAVdTdr6#ReadyForWinter
– November 3, 2020 – Transport Scotland (@Transcotland)
He had been criticized for suggesting that “the result of a very specific set of weather conditions” was a previous occurrence and was unlikely to happen again.
Calls for an immediate inquiry into icing issues were released in February on the 1.7-mile, publicly funded bridge 11 months after giant icicles shattered three car windshields after breaking cables at the crossing.
The investigation found that even though the current multi-million pound sensor system was unable to detect ice adequately, the problem occurred.
For not moving quickly, the Scottish government was blamed. In October 2019, Transport Minister Michael Matheson said that new sensors will be installed.
Prior to this winter season, new ice sensors were mounted on the Queensferry Crossing as “part of a series of measures to improve the detection and management of ice buildup.”
In August 2017, the Queen opened the bridge.
Farce Road Bridge: Deep L sensors from Queensferry Crossing do not correctly detect ice
Mr Matheson said when the new steps were revealed last month, “Our teams always try to learn lessons from previous winters and have worked hard again throughout the year to ensure that when the worst of the weather arrives, we are well prepared.”
It is barely December and the world’s best bridge is closed again.
Another success story from the SNP. #QueensferryCrossing pic.twitter.com/rg38IVr5yZZZIVr5yZZZZ.
– Agent P (@AgentP22) 4/12/2020
“That ranges from using new technologies, like ice-attachment sensors and highway approaches, to testing new treatments and adding more gritting vehicles to our fleet.”
In February, after ice and snow dropped from cables onto vehicles below, the intersection was closed for the first time since it opened in 2017.
Before the bridge was closed for safety reasons, eight vehicles were affected.
As drivers took a 35-mile detour across the Kincardine Bridge, this created lengthy traffic jams.
The earlier issue of dropping ice from the cables is still closed. Let’s hope the temperature will soon rise again! https://t.co/TwS0q3we9E9E
– December 4, 2020 for Forth Bridges (@ForthBridges).
At the time of the February incident, Mr. Matheson said the previous winter had been a similar issue when snow and ice built on some of the cables, but the bridge had not been closed.
I understand the anger of the traveling public today, Mr. Matheson said, and I’m very sorry that the bridge was closed for the first time, but it’s a bridge that gives us much more durability than the old Forth Road Bridge.
“There have now been about 30 occasions when we could have only partially used the Forth Road Bridge or not used it at all, while the Queensferry Crossing continues to function.”
In response, the Scottish government announced its plans for “the coming mona mona”