A busy Moray bridge that has been pegged for a major refurbishment has been reduced to one lane for the next three weeks.
Traffic lights have now been put in place on the A941 Craigellachie road bridge while investigative works are carried out on the site.
Moray Council engineers have recently been inspecting the site ahead of a proposed £1.4 million refurbishment of the popular carriageway which cuts across the River Spey near Aberlour.
They identified a fracture in one of the bearings, which could have an impact on the safety of traffic across the bridge.
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Now, in order to investigate the condition of the other bearings, the council have shut one lane and installed traffic lights as a calming measure.
Abnormal loads have also been banned from accessing the bridge completely, as remedial action still needs to be found that will allow them to re-open the lane.
Speyside Glenlivet councillor Louise Laing called for patience as the bridge is being checked out.
She said: “The lane has been closed for safety reasons so that the engineers can have a proper look as the bridge is down for proposed refurbishments and before that it needs a big survey.
“It is a very busy bridge as lots of lorries use it but Moray Council are contacting local groups to inform them about the closure.
Yesterday I asked about the traffic lights on the Craigellachie Bridge. Here's the response….. The reason we have…
“It was not meant to happen but they need to check it out.”
The A941 Craigellachie road bridge was built in 1970 as a replacement for the iconic Craigellachie Bridge which is a category A listed structure.
A historic cast iron crossing, it is shrouded in mystery as no one knows who owns it.
A Moray Council spokeswoman said that the lane closure would be in affect for a minimum of three weeks:
“Scaffolding will be erected and bearing plates removed, which is estimated to take a minimum of three weeks, and the temporary lane closure will be in effect for the duration of this operation.
“Once all the bearings on the bridge have been examined by engineers and remedial work confirmed, Moray Council will be better placed to estimate the time it will take to have the bridge fully operational.”