The bridge is utilized by as much as 70,000 automobiles on a daily basis and the closure, whilst a cracked metal truss is repaired, is predicted to price the financial system no less than £50million.
Derek Mackay stated paintings to make the Lothians-Fife bridge protected will have to be completed in early January.
The bridge used to be utterly closed on Friday and, in spite of choice commute plans being been installed position, it has brought about large tailbacks.
Mr Mackay stated: “We consider that, if we treatment and service the fault, the bridge will have to be operational and open to all visitors on finishing touch of the restore as in line with the timetable I defined over the weekend.”
Mr Mackay insisted that the fault used to be now not connected to a drop in finance as a result of the finishing of bridge tolls in 2008. He stated: “This can be a fault that we consider, on professional recommendation, most effective came about prior to now few weeks.
“On regimen inspection, it used to be known remaining Tuesday, professional engineering research studied that and inspected it absolutely. Knowledge went to ministers on Thursday night and inside of mins, a choice used to be taken on a advice to near the bridge that night.”
Mr Mackay added that the 2 causes for closure have been to steer clear of compromising protection, and to steer clear of additional destructive the construction of the bridge.
Companies are already feeling the have an effect on of the restore paintings, together with street hauliers who face overlooked supply consequences in addition to added gas and motive force prices. Martin Reid, the Scottish director of the Street Haulage Affiliation, stated brief trips have doubled in duration.
He defined: “Even probably the most fundamental trips from West Lothian into Central Fife – trips that may usually take 40 to 50 mins – at the moment are taking two to 3 hours.
“There are ongoing prices to that, there are delays to carrier, further prices hooked up to operating idle if you find yourself in visitors jams. It’s having an enormous impact.”
Commuters reported lengthy delays the day before today with Visitors Scotland describing the visitors at the strategy to the opposite Kincardine and Clackmannanshire crossings as “very heavy”.
Trains between Fife and Edinburgh have been additionally busy, with some passengers complaining of being “filled in like sardines” in spite of additional products and services being installed position.
Supply : EXPRESS