This timeline is based on Forth Estuary Transport Authority meeting minutes (all here) and Audit Scotland reports. I note that work on the Truss End Linkages was deferred at least 3 times:
- From 2012/13 to 2013/14
- From 2013/14 to 2014/15
- From 2014/15 to 2015/16
(n.b. 2011 deferrals are not noted)
August 2006: It is noted that the “existing truss is overstressed and will require to be strengthened”
October 2009: An assessment of the Truss End Linkages has been undertaken. (Capital Plan to 2023/24, October 2009)
October 2010: Audit Scotland notes that “Funding for 2011-2014 has still to be agreed with the Scottish Government” and that “Funding arrangements continue to provide management with challenges”.
May 2010: A tender for work on the truss end links is cancelled.
2011: Maintenance projects deferred due to a spending review. (Minutes, April 2014)
August 2011: Audit Scotland notes that Funding for 2012-2015 has still to be agreed with the Scottish Government and that “Funding arrangements continue to provide management with challenges”.
2012: A second round of projects were deferred. The “Truss End Linkages” were considered for deferral, but were found to be “vital to maintain the operational capacity of the bridge and were retained in the programme”. (Minutes, April 2014)
October 2012: Audit Scotland notes that FETA has a “significantly reduced capital grant” and is “experiencing a 65% reduction in its three year capital grant to 2014/15”. Audit Scotland note that this “may impact on future project costs”.
August 2013: It is noted that Truss End Linkage strengthening is going to tender and that the work was deferred from 2012/13. (Budget Monitoring 2013/14, August 2013)
February 2014: It is reported that the Truss End Linkages are “significantly overstressed”. Based on cost and potential disruption, replacement is ruled out. Strengthening is to be trailed on the south west tower. It is noted that strengthening will cost £0.434m, whereas a repair will be £10m-£15m. (Minutes, February 2014)
October 2013: Audit Scotland again notes that FETA has a “significantly reduced capital grant” and is “experiencing a 65% reduction in its three year capital grant to 2014/15”. Audit Scotland note that this “may impact on future project costs”.
February 2014: “Truss End Linkages project” deferred to 2015/16 “due to issues with the design check”. (Budget Monitoring, 2014/15)
February 2014: Costs associated with Truss End Linkages are expected to defer to 2014/15. (Budget Monitoring 2013/14, February 2014)
February 2014: Full Replacement (not strengthening) of Truss End links is deferred to “post 2015/16 due to budgetary restraints”. (Revenue and Capital Budgets, 2014/15)
February 2015: Truss End Linkages strengthening delayed due to “issues with the quality of the existing tower steelwork; the difficulties of access and the existence of red lead paint, coupled with the loss of key management staff”. Strengthening to be trial on the south west to be completed by May 2015. If successful, the remainder of the work will be undertaken by Transport Scotland in 2015/16. Further analysis is also being undertaken to re-assess the current capacity of the links to carry Abnormal Vehicles. It is noted that “this work may result in an operation restriction on the passage of the heavier loads that cross the bridge and may increase traffic disruption”. (Capital Plan and Reserves Update, February 2015)
December 2015: Bridge closed.