The Forth Road Bridge could re-open on January 4.
Engineers working round the clock to carry out repairs say they are on course to meet the New Year deadline - and that’d mean an end to the rail and road chaos that has hit the Kingdom on December 4.
Fifers are facing major detours and delays on a daily basis with the bridge out of commission since the discovery of a crack to a truss end link.
Thousands of extra seats have been added to trains, but many services remain packed, while buses and motorists face long detours to cross the Forth at Kincardine, adding significantly to journey times.
But contractors, Amey, were able to deliver some good news with a January 4 date for a return to normal.
They set it despite facing wintry weather conditions which may yet hamper the work being done under the bridge.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said the intention was the crossing would reopen early in the new year, but warned progress on the repair work was dependent on weather conditions.
A spokesman for Amey said: “We are aiming for January 4 in time for people going back to work.”
Engineers are monitoring conditions were monitored day and night, but had not caused any delays so far.
“It has been challenging,” she said. “But we are absolutely where we want to be at this point in time.”