THE Kincardine Bridge will continue to "play a key role" in Scotland's road network, following the completion of a £2.3million improvement works scheme.

Since 2015, 14 joint-to-joint spans of the crossing, which opened in 1936, have been refurbished, including concrete repairs, the replacement of the bridge deck waterproofing system, the installation of new bridge expansion joins, and the resurfacing of the carriageway.

Officials say the work has "ensured the continued safe and reliable operation of one of the major links across the Forth" and will extend the lifespan of the crossing.

However, Transport Scotland, which worked closely with the Amey to complete the four-year programme of work to waterproof and resurface the bridge, outlined further maintenance is programmed to begin in 2021.

It includes the replacement of the Southern Piled Viaduct; bridge re-painting; widening of the footways; and repairs to the concrete piers.

Commuters have been assured that measures will be put in place to minimise delays..

Cameron Gair, head of major bridges at Transport Scotland, said: "This significant investment will ensure that the Kincardine Bridge continues to provide motorists with a safe and reliable link across the River Forth.

"We would like to thank the travelling public for their patience as these essential works were carried out, and commend staff at Amey for delivering the programme despite some of the challenges that come with Scotland's weather.

"We are committed to ensuring this landmark crossing continues to play a key role in our trunk road network for years to come."

Tom Wallace, account manager for the Scottish south east trunk roads unit, added: "We are grateful for the co-operation, patience and support we have had from the local community, Kincardine Community Council, the emergency services, and other key stakeholders in ensuring this complex and extensive maintenance scheme has been delivered on time.

"Despite challenges presented by Scotland's weather, and major incidents such as the closure of the Forth Road Bridge in December 2015, this work has progressed steadily and without significant delays."