February 18, 2008 / 1:11 PM / 10 years ago

Painting the Forth bridge -- end in sight

LONDON (Reuters) - For over 120 years the job of painting the colossal Forth railway bridge has famously been a never-ending task.

So much steel is involved in the 1.5-mile long rail bridge over the Firth of Forth that, the legend goes, by the time the painters finish, they need to start over again at the other end.

Now, however, a date has been set for completion -- 2012.

Engineering firm Balfour Beatty has been blasting off layers of paint from the bridge since 2002 and replacing them with a special coating designed to last 20 years.

On Monday, it said it had been awarded a 74 million-pound contract by Network Rail to complete the remaining restoration by 2012.

“The contract is set to mark the end of a modern myth,” the firm said on its Web site.

Reporting by Steve Addison; Editing by Astrid Zweynert

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