Historic bridge repaired

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A £100,000 refurbishment of the historic Gairnshiel Bridge, near Ballater, is underway.

The A-listed single-span humpback masonry arch bridge over the River Gairn, constructed in 1751, closed on Monday (April 2) for a series of works which are expected to be complete by the end of May, before the summer tourist season begins.

During this time, the A939 Gairnshiel to Colnabaichen Road will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians at Gairnshiel Lodge. Diversions will be via the A93 to Dinnet then the A97 and A944 to Colnabaichen.

The works are addressing bulging and cracking of the bridge’s approach walls caused by frost damage. Propping of the bulged walls using gabion basket buttresses was carried out in 2011 as a temporary measure to keep the road open over the winter period. Over the winter, the deterioration has continued beyond where the propping is in place and it is now necessary to carry out a more permanent reconstruction.

The walls will be taken down and re-built using a lime mortar, with a concrete infill being placed below the carriageway to protect against frost in the future.

Aberdeenshire Council thanked motorists and pedestrians for their patience while these essential works take place.