The cost of repairing and refurbishing one of Moray’s busiest river crossings have soared to £1.8million.
Maintenance was already scheduled to be done to Craigellachie Bridge this year by the council. However, the project has became more complex after a fracture was found in the River Spey crossing’s structure during an inspection.
The discovery caused the A941 Aberlour to Elgin road to be reduced to a single lane in January until a temporary fix was done before a permanent solution could be carried out in the summer.
The A941 Aberlour to Elgin road was reduced to one lane at the River Spey crossing, which is nearly 50 years old, before it was reopened fully again last month.
Initial estimates priced the work at £1.4million. However, a contract notice published by Moray Council to look for contractors has now estimated the repairs could stretch to £1.85million.
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Graham Leadbitter, chairman of the council’s economic development and infrastructure committee, said: “The estimates for work on bridges are initially high-level estimates, but sometimes when work is carried out on the ground, other issues are uncovered, as is the case with the Craigellachie Bridge.
“The bridge is obviously a critical piece of infrastructure providing the main link between the A9 and the heart of Moray.
“It’s vital that this work is carried out. It remains to be seen what the final cost will be, but sometimes these types of complex repairs can be unpredictable.
“We will continue to prioritise the most urgent work.”
The renovation needing done to the bridge includes removing and replacing the existing joints at both the north and south bases.
The existing road and footpath will also be removed to be resurfaced, with drainage repairs also needing done to the deck.
A spokesman for Moray Council explained that the final cost of the project would not be confirmed until a tender for the work was accepted.
He said: “Our estimate is just that, and we will have to wait for the formal tenders to come in before the actual cost is known.
“This is obviously a big job to a main arterial route and is likely to take most of the summer to complete. That said, we’re hopeful that disruption to traffic will be kept to a minimum.”