A 900k project to repair an Aberdeenshire bridge damaged by Storm Frank in 2015 is now under way.
Specialist teams have started the intricate task of repairing the century-old lattice girder Victoria Bridge which stands over the River Dee at Mar Lodge in Aberdeenshire.
Along with many homes, businesses and landscapes, the listed white bridge suffered structural damage during Storm Frank in 2015.
The bridge is due to be dismantled piece by piece and taken off site so that new cast iron sections can be installed to replace those damaged by the storm.
The entire structure will also receive a new coat of paint as well as works to the bridge piers.
‘Restored to its former glory’
The National Trust for Scotland, who own the Mar Lodge Estate, say the conservation work will “see the bridge repaired and restored to its former glory, allowing members of the public to make full use of the crossing”.
The bridge will be closed to pedestrians, cyclists, horses and vehicles until December 21.
The nearest alternative crossing to access Mar Lodge Estate is at the Linn of Dee bridge, three miles west of Victoria Bridge.
The bridge, built in 1905, replaced an earlier wooden bridge, built in 1848 by the Duke of Leeds when he lived on the estate.
In 2017, the estate was awarded National Nature Reserve status – making it the largest NNR in the UK.
David Frew, operations manager at Mar Lodge Estate NNR, said: “Victoria Bridge is a crossing place which the team at Mar Lodge Estate, locals, hillwalkers, cyclists and equestrian riders all make great use of.
“During Storm Frank in 2015 many homes, businesses and landscapes were affected, and our historic white bridge suffered structural damage.
“At the Trust we take care of, maintain and protect our properties and landscapes, so that visitors can explore the places we love.
“The repairs would have not been possible without the extremely generous support we’ve received at Mar Lodge Estate from the endowment provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“We appreciate the public’s patience, support and understanding while works are underway, and apologise for any inconvenience caused during the 17-week period.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the bridge in December.”