Deeside bridge weathers storm

The refurbished Dee Bridge at Ballater
The refurbished Dee Bridge at Ballater

A Deeside bridge, battered by debris during Storm Frank, has been resored to its former glory.

The B-listed Dee Bridge at Ballater, connecting the community to the B976 South Deeside Road, was bombarded with material, including tree trunks and caravans washed away in the storm spate in 2015.

The repairs took about 13 weeks

The repairs took about 13 weeks

Images of static caravans colliding with the structure are a stark reminder of the Dee torrent. After 13 weeks, refurbishment and repairs at a cost of around £450,000 have now been completed on the popular and well-used bridge.

Chair of the Marr Area Committee, Moira Ingleby, said: “While there’s clearly been some inconvenience around the bridge while this work has taken place, I think people have appreciated the fact it is happening and are glad to see it back in full use and looking so good.

“I’m well aware this is a very well used bridge which is important for tourism and recreation, as well as linking our communities, and I hope such an extensive refurbishment will see its future secured, with minimal intervention and disruption in coming years.”

Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “Clearly it’s been some time since the initial damage was sustained, but I know engineers have been working through a backlog of damage to structures and roads since Storm Frank, giving priority to those at greatest risk.

“As a local councillor I am delighted to see the bridge looking so good. The work done has given us a strengthened and handsome crossing which should serve the local community for many years to come.”

The project had to take place in the summer because of easier access through lower water levels, and because it meant minimal disruption to Dee salmon.

Queen Victoria opened the bridge in 1885, stating that it should be called “The Royal Bridge”.

The current structure is the fourth at this important crossing point.

The first bridge replaced a ferry and was completed in 1783, before its destruction by flood in 1799.