A new road bridge linking the north’s largest retail park and the new Inverness Campus will be be built – but it may take two years.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has permission to build the bridge and a link road at the north end of the campus.
It has been designed for pedestrians, cyclists and buses to cross the Inverness to Perth railway between the two sites.
At present the two are joined by a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the railway which opened last year.
But HIE want to expand the link between the campus to include public transport.
Preparatory work is ready to begin in the new year – but the overall project is still dependent on funding.
A spokesman for HIE said: “We are planning a second bridge linking the north end of the Campus over the railway to the Inverness Business and Retail Park. This will be for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
“Timescale for construction is still to be determined and will depend on funding, but is expected to be in the next couple of years.
“In the meantime we will shortly begin preparatory work on access to the bridge location on the Campus side of the railway.”
Concerns were raised about the proposal by some businesses within Stoneyfield Business Park on the retail park side of the railway.
Fears were raised about the loss of trees shielding the business park from the campus and the loss of amenity through noise.
However, council planners said that because use of the bridge will be limited to public transport, pedestrians and cyclists it is not expected that there will be an undue impact.
An unfinished footpath from Stoneyfield towards the retail park will also be completed and linked into the new scheme as a condition imposed as part of the project.
The new road is designed to tie into a number of other links into the campus, including the existing footbridge over the railway and the Golden Bridge over the A9 which connects the campus to the city via a cycle path.