This paper examines maintenance/upgrading/repair of the bridge’s crucial members, with particular emphasis on the main cables. This, in the context of identification of the faults associated with the cables, and the methodology adopted in repair or remedy of the observed damages. The techniques involved/applied in the maintenance of this bridge will also be discussed. Recommendations will be made, and where appropriate, alternative repair methods would be suggested. The methodology entails a critical assessment based on literature research, hence references will be made to available studies on the subject, and where necessary, other relevant material would be cited.
The maintenance of the Forth Road bridge is multi-dimensional in nature. Generally, there could be a categorisation into two broad classes: (a) small to medium-sized maintenance operations, and (b) major operations.
The first category serves the general purpose of simply keeping the bridge usable, while the second category serves the more vital purpose of enhancing, improving or elevating the serviceability of the structure to a higher level. It is noteworthy that training of staff, risk assessments and method statements are carried out prior to any task, to ensure that work is carried out as safely as possible. This can perhaps be described as yet another dimension of these maintenance operations, impacting on quality of the procedures involved, in the context of safety.
A number of simple or basic operations have been identified in connection with maintenance of this bridge. There are, for instance, routine tasks during the summer months involving the washing of the steelwork of the suspended span truss with freshwater to remove surface salts and guano.
There are, and have been, small to medium-sized maintenance works carried out since the Forth Road Bridge commenced service, and, in this context, these ...