An Aberdeenshire road which collapsed amid the worst flooding in the region in living memory re-opened yesterday ahead of schedule.
A huge section of the A93 near Micras crumbled before New Year as it was battered by the River Dee and torrential rain at the peak of horrendous storms which hit the north-east.
It left transport to and from Braemar problematic for residents in addition to the destruction of Invercauld Bridge, which is the main crossing into the village on the A93 Ballater to Braemar road.
Aberdeenshire Council started work on a temporary diversion road around the damaged section, which was due to open today.
However, the route was unveiled and opened to motorists yesterday at around 3pm after “progressing well”.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Councillor David Aitchison said no one could have ever imagined the damage the flooding would cause.
But he said he was in awe of those who have worked so hard to turn round the situation.
“The impact on infrastructure caused by flooding across Aberdeenshire has been substantial, not to mention how it has affected people and communities,” he said.
“I commend all staff who worked to react and protect the public as the flooding took hold and who now continue to repair roads, bridges, properties and support residents and local businesses.
“I know the communities of Ballater and Braemar will join me in thanking everyone involved in reconnecting their area with a vital road link and means that people no longer have to take the alternative route via the B976 South Deeside Road between Ballater and Crathie.”
Vice chairman councillor Stephen Smith added: “The road has been created in a short space of time which is commendable.
“I thank the council’s Infrastructure Service and further work will take place to reinstate the road and riverbank to improve the route as the authority continues to repair damage and recover from the recent flooding.”
The council added how “grateful” it has been for the cooperation of the local landowner and tenant in allowing access to the site.
In the coming weeks and months, officials will be considering options for the permanent replacement and riverbank reinstatement.
The work follows the reopening of nearby Invercauld Bridge on Monday following emergency repair works.