Kilmelford bridge - updated 1 November

Argyll and Bute Council will lift weight restrictions on Kilmelford Bridge to vehicles weighing up 44 tonnes (the maximum weight allowed on UK roads) at 12 noon on Thursday, subject to final concrete tests.

The bridge re-opened yesterday (Monday) to light vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes following urgent works carried out by the council to install a new permanent crossing.

The council had to close the original bridge on 19 October following substantial damage, as it was not safe to use. The extent of the damage meant the only sensible engineering option was to demolish and completely replace it.

Thanks to Highland Council who were able to provide concrete box sections, used to form bridges or large culverts, the council has been able to take forward a permanent replacement bridge in rapid time.

Contractors worked extended shifts to install the concrete sections. To facilitate the installation of the concrete box sections, teams pumped the majority of water from the river into a pipe. This carried the water away from the works and will remain in place to form part of the permanent solution.

Over the top of the box sections, the team laid a reinforced concrete cover slab and then a final asphalt surface.

Councillor Andrew Kain, Policy Lead for Roads and Transport said: “Our Roads teams have moved at a remarkable pace to progress a permanent solution for this vital route.

“It was both a sign of the positive working relationships we have with other councils, as well as a stroke of fortune, that these suitable box culverts were available from Highland Council. Normally the lead-time on these items can be several weeks from suppliers as they are generally made to order.

“Although diversions were put in place, we know the impact that this has had on the local community and our teams have been doing their utmost to progress the new bridge as quickly as possible. I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to deliver a safe crossing and to the local community for their support and cooperation.” 

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