Moray-based Army troops have offered their support to ensure Lossiemouth’s East Beach bridge can reopen as soon as possible.
The Royal Engineers from Kinloss Barracks regularly carry out operations across the world to build and repair infrastructure.
Now the military personnel have offered to work closer to home so the community can once again reap the benefits of a direct crossing to the sand.
Moray Council’s SNP administration, meanwhile, has called for a taskforce to be set up with the Army, RAF Lossiemouth and local councillors all invited to attend.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “I’ve spoken to senior personnel at Kinloss Barracks and they have helpfully said they stand ready to help in any way they can and would be keen to discuss with the local community and the council what form that may take.
“There is a lot of work to be done in the next few days and I welcome the partnership between the local community and the Moray Council that is now there to take this challenge forward as a matter of urgency.”
Yesterday Moray Council published the report from engineers which explained why the bridge has been deemed unsafe.
Hot weather has been blamed for weakening the steelwork, while an increased number of users added even more pressure.
Meanwhile, children jumping from the bridge is believed to have made it “vibrate” to add to the existing loads.
Photographs published by the council show broken ties, which have caused a “substantial” lean downstream.
The authority has stressed that while the bridge is technically ownerless it has a duty to act to protect the public when structures are unsafe.
Council convener Shona Morrison said: “The SNP Administration is committed to helping support the community through this difficult time.
“Lossiemouth beach and the tourism it generates is of huge benefit to Moray economically as well as being an iconic landmark.
“It is essential that we all work together to ensure a positive outcome.”
Moray MP Douglas Ross raised the issue at Westminster in the hope that either the UK or Scottish government can provide help.
He said: “Given that thousands of people have used the bridge this week alone, closing it has repercussions for the local economy and for businesses who rely on tourism, much of which comes from people using the bridge to get across to the beach.”