Future of new £1.8m Lossiemouth East Beach Bridge Secured
Moray Council has today (Wednesday) agreed to take ownership of and maintain the new East Beach Bridge in Lossiemouth, following approval from the Scottish Government to fully fund the project.
Future maintenance of the bridge comes with an estimated cost of £165,000 for the whole life of the bridge.
The decision was also taken to demolish the old bridge during the course of construction to avoid a larger demolition bill if it was left to deteriorate, with demolition described as inevitable.
The Scottish Government approved funding for a new bridge from the Esplanade following the assessment of each option presented, which considered cost, environmental impact, flood risk and ground conditions. The environmental impact, flood risk and ground conditions were very similar for all of the options, however the costs for each option were significantly different.
It was noted in the meeting that some members of the local community expressed a preference for a replacement bridge at the same location as the existing bridge. However, as the benefits identified in the Economic Impact Assessment were the same for each option, the only differing factor between each option is cost and this was used in selecting the preferred option that was presented, for agreement with Scottish Government, in the business case.
The funding required to design and construct the bridge is £1.8m, which includes £1.375m capital cost; £365,000 risk allowance; and £60,000 site supervision costs.
Stage 2 of the contract to design and build a new footbridge, with a design life of 100 years, at the esplanade will now progress with an indicative timeline of:
May - submit applications for statutory consents
May – start detailed design
September – bridge fabrication (subject to obtaining statutory consents)
January – start construction
March / April – open bridge
Convener of Moray Council, Cllr Shona Morrison, said: “Although the community has a fond connection to the old bridge we must accept that it is, and will continue to be, a danger to public safety, which Moray Council has a duty to protect against.
“The building of a new bridge, however, is an exciting chapter in the history of Lossiemouth’s East Beach Bridges – this will be the third incarnation and is expected to last for over 100 years. I look forward to seeing the bridge transport excited beach-goers once again to Lossie’s East Beach by next Spring and for decades to come.”