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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Forth bridge work completed early
Forth Road Bridge
Weekend closures will begin again in September
Motorists will avoid two weeks of disruption after work on the Forth Road Bridge finished ahead of schedule.

The first phase of the major maintenance programme was due to be completed on Sunday 19 June.

But the process, which included monitoring the condition of the main cables, has already been finished.

Drivers faced delays of up to 90 minutes during the work, but there will be no further weekend closures until the second phase begins in September.

The bridge's general manager, Alastair Andrew, confirmed that work had been completed two weeks ahead of schedule.

The Scottish summer has been kind to us with few cancellations of planned works due to bad weather
Alastair Andrew
General manager

"Bridge users will be able to see the progress we have made with platforms in place on the cables and the new canopy taking shape on the south tower," he said.

"The Scottish summer has been kind to us with few cancellations of planned works due to bad weather."

He said there would be no more weekend restrictions until 3 September in an attempt to avoid the tourist season and major events like the G8 summit and the T in the Park music festival.

The second phase of work will involve internal inspections and the placing of acoustic monitoring equipment on the main cables.

The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (Feta), which operates the bridge, said there would continue to be overnight carriageway restrictions throughout the year.

Total bridge closures will also take place in July, although Mr Andrew said these would be limited in an attempt to cause minimum disruption.

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