Peterhead’s iconic Queenie Bridge in the heart of the harbour has re-opened to traffic.
The reintroduction of the bridge forms part of the £50million development of the port which includes the creation of the new fishmarket, the deepening of the harbour and the extension to the Smith Embankment.
The bridge was originally designed by Scots civil engineer Sir William Arrol who is famed for his work on the Forth Bridge and the replacement Tay Rail Bridge.
Installed in 1952, the deck of the Queenie weighs in at 60 tonnes, while the counterweights and machinery rooms are a hefty 100 tonnes.
Peterhead Port Authority’s Harbour Engineer, David Buchan, personally took charge of the project to enable consultants to focus on the major port developments.
He explained: “This is an iconic piece of Clyde-side engineering in the very heart of our harbour. But to enable the harbour development works to proceed we had to have the bridge out of the way.”
A 3-dimensional model was created by Fugro to ensure the anchorage points and other elements could be precisely positioned.
Local firm Davidsons refurbished the various sections while they were removed by heavy lifters Mammoet and provided anti-corrosion treatment which will hopefully see the bridge remain in fine fettle for many decades to come.
Updated electrics, control and power systems were fitted by Siemens and Finesse Control Systems of Arbroath.
Mr Buchan continued: “Without changing the span of the bridge, we have actually increased the width for vessels to 16.5m compared with the original 10.3m.
“Combined with the deepening to -6.5m, that is tremendous news as it will enable all modern fishing vessels to access the new fishmarket.
“Not only that, but it will enable the port’s Shiplift to accommodate larger vessels.
“From a logistics perspective it will improve transport links to the fishmarket and various harbour areas.”
In addition to thanking the major contractors involved in the project, Mr Buchan paid tribute to the massive input from both the port’s direct labour staff and local firms.
“The works undertaken by the port’s employees was tremendous and I would like to thank them for their efforts,” said Mr Buchan.
“Peterhead Port Authority was very mindful of ensuring local companies were brought in wherever possible.
“In addition to Davidsons, we also received superb support from the likes of Dales Engineering, Bill Mackie Engineering, Seagate Fabrication, Robbie Buchan and Peterhead Marine Electrics. Imagineering also created all the signage around the bridge for us.”