Bridge re-opening welcomed

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Repair works to strengthen the B9030 Old Deer bridge have now been completed and the road has finally been reopened to all traffic.

The works included painting of the steel superstructure, casting a new reinforced concrete deck slab, reconstructing the masonry pillars and reinstating the carriageway surfacing.

The contract value of the works was £110,000.

The U106B Abbey Bridge has also reopened to traffic.

Head of Roads and Landscape Services Philip McKay said: “Delays in the 11-week contract were experienced due to the adverse weather in November and December, however, extra effort has been made to complete the outstanding works when weather permitted at the beginning of January.”

The repair works were carried out by Aberdeenshire Council’s construction team, with painting carried out by Moray Blast of Morayshire.

The bridge, which was constructed in 1860 and reconstructed in 1920, carries the B9030 road over the Formartine Buchan way. The road runs from the A950 at Pitfour South Lodge to Old Deer Village.

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson welcomed the re-opening of the railway bridge at Old Deer this weekend. Local people became increasingly frustrated at the long detour this involved as the work had slipped from the original 11 week planned closure.

Mr Stevenson wrote to Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie two weeks ago requesting that contractors carrying out the works be instructed to “redouble their efforts” and complete the works as soon as possible.

Head of Roads Philip McKay responding to the MSP confirmed the road would re-open on the weekend of 22/23 January.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “I am very pleased for the residents of Stuartfield and Old Deer who have been inconvenienced by these works for several months now that the bridge is, at last, open to traffic once again.

“I understand that repairs were necessary and had to be carried out. However, even making an allowance for the recent period of inclement weather, the delay in the completion of these works was completely unacceptable.

“This caused extreme inconvenience and frustration to my constituents in that area and disrupted bus routes. In addition, the closure of a number of local minor roads simply added to the feeling of frustration and isolation.

“The council have given me an assurance that the circumstances surrounding the problems encountered at this particular scheme will be reviewed and I hope that lessons will be learned so that no other community has to suffer the same thing.”