B970 Ruthven Bridge Kingussie

Pin marks location of Ruthven Bridge
Pin marks location of Ruthven Bridge

A Contractor (Morgan Sindall) was appointed yesterday, 21 April, to replace the superstructure of the existing Ruthven Bridge at Kingussie.

The deterioration of Ruthven Bridge has affected its load carrying capacity, to the extent that its use has had to be restricted to vehicles weighing less than 3 tonnes. This is a measure intended to protect the bridge, and its users, until the proposed replacement work can be undertaken. However it is not something which can be sustained over an extended period, in view of the serious risk that further deterioration could lead to partial or total failure of the bridge. A regime of monitoring inspection and survey has been implemented to identify any further deterioration.

Highland Council has agreed to provide immediate funding for the work. The funding for the replacement bridge is in partnership with the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme (STTS) in recognition of the strategic importance of this route for timber haulage. STTS secured £250,000 funding from Forestry Commission Scotland (Scottish Government).

The stone masonry sub-structure of the bridge will be retained with a complete removal of the existing bridge superstructure and installation of a replacement; requiring a period of full road closure.

Now that the contractor has been appointed, the work plan and timescales can be established and publicised in due course.

The potential for a temporary alternative bridge crossing was explored, however this is not viable.

The Council does not take issues of road closure lightly, and we will endeavour to reduce the impact on the community and local businesses. However, the main issue is the condition of the existing bridge. It is in everyone’s interests to ensure that we replace it before the point is reached where, for safety reasons, it has to be closed immediately to all traffic.

Timescales and temporary diversion arrangements will be published as soon as it is possible to do so.

22 Apr 2015