The Forth Rail Bridge, due to it’s innovate design has had many specialist requirements over its lifetime. Until 1992, it had a unique railway track sleeper attachment. One of the great myths of the Forth Rail Bridge has been that it was constantly being painted to retain the integrity of the Steel. Whilst it is true that there was a full-time maintenance gold rings crew, the bridge was not in need of a perpetual repaint.
In 1996 under a review by the Health and Safety Executive, a complete structural and maintenance assessment and the initial contract for sand-blasting off the layers of paint and accessing the Steel to enable a complete refurbishment and repair programme was awarded to Rigblast.
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Due to financial issues Balfour-Beatty took over the contract in 2002, with an anticipated completion by 2009 at an anticipated cost of £13,000,000 per annum. Technology in paint materials has enabled the current owners – Network Rail - to reduce paint re-application still further with an anticipated life-span of 25 to 30 years plus, the current repainting project is anticipated to complete in 2012.
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