Moray Council bridged the last major gap in Elgin’s £86million flood alleviation scheme yesterday.
The installation of the new wooden-decked pedestrian bridge over the River Lossie was the last key piece of infrastructure placed as the scheme approaches completion next Spring.
The 82-foot single span cross over links the Bishopmill area with Elgin town centre at the south end of Bridge Street.
The steel superstructure of the new bridge, weighing nearly 30 tonnes, has been fabricated off-site by Huddersfield-based CTS Bridges.
Once that is completed 10 sets of utility ducts, carrying services such as electricity, gas and telecoms, will be connected. The substructure is reinforced concrete on top of the old masonry abutments of the old bridge.
The bridge, which is scheduled to formally open next April, is slightly arched and the parapets will be painted red to match the distinctive colour of the old parapets which have been dismantled and will be relocated nearby along a new cycleway being created alongside the river.
Councillor George Alexander, chairman of Moray Council’s flood alleviation sub-committee, said the installation of the new bridge and associated works represented one of the last major elements of the overall scheme.
“The end of the project – the biggest flood scheme ever built in Scotland – is now in sight,” he said.
“The heavy rain that we had back in August showed that the scheme does what it was intended to do and that is to save families and business owners from the heartache of flooding.
“They have had more than their share of that in the past and they will be both delighted and relieved to see the Elgin scheme coming to a conclusion.”
Work on the Elgin scheme, which will protect hundreds of homes and businesses from flooding, began in April 2011 and is due for completion in May 2015. Current estimates are that it will be completed more than £1.5million under budget.