A new bridge is to be hoisted into position over the River Lossie next week as part of Elgin’s multimillion pound flood alleviation scheme.
The 82ft wooden bridge will allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross from the Bishopmill area to the town centre, and a crane will put it in place on December 11.
However, it will not open until next April when the works are completed.
The bridge is the latest phase of the town’s £86million flood alleviation scheme, which has been designed to protect hundreds of homes and businesses.
Councillor George Alexander, who chairs 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.”
The structure will be erected on the site of its predecessor at the south end of Bridge Street, and has been fabricated off-site by Huddersfield-based firm CTS Bridges.
Once it is lifted into position by crane, utility ducts – carrying electricity, gas and telecoms – will be connected.
The substructure will be made of reinforced concrete on top of the old masonry abutments of the old bridge.
The bridge will be slightly arched and the parapets will be painted red to match the colour of the old parapets which have been dismantled, and will be relocated nearby along a new cycleway which is being created by the river.
Work on the scheme began in April 2011 and is due for completion next year.
Current estimates are that it will be completed more than £1.5million under budget.