Work set to start on new Mill of Leask bridge

Mill of Leask bridge.
Mill of Leask bridge.

Construction is expected to start this spring on a replacement bridge in a small community near Ellon.

Aberdeenshire Council hope to begin work on the new Mill of Leask bridge - a vital link to the town- in early May in order to meet their target date of completion by July.

Proposals for the replacement bridge were approved last October by Formartine Area Committee when councillors considered a report which suggested the construction of a bridge at an estimated cost of £150,000.

Mill of Leask resident, Dave Forbes, has welcomed the newsthat work is set to start in the next few weeks.

He told The Times: “My own reaction is that - with the information we have to date - I am satisfied that the council is sincerely exerting its best efforts to get the bridge completed within the time frame already identified.

“I imagine that the majority of Leask residents would take the view that the sooner the bridge is rebuilt, the better – we have all missed its availability over the winter.”

Storms back in 2012 damaged the structure and it was demolished in January last year.

When the council issued the community with questionnaires proposing not to replace the bridge last summer, residents responded with a letter, petition and their own economic assessment.

They claimed that they were faced with higher fuel costs, longer journey times, problems with access for emergency services and more traffic on the Collieston road.

Dave added: “We also recognise the financial and logistical constraints that the council has to work within, and I think most of us – walkers and cyclists, as well as motorists and farmers – will be happy to have a functional bridge by the end of July this year.

“The bridge is a crucial part of our local infrastructure. Speaking for myself, I only realised its full significance after it had been destroyed.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, Philip McKay, said: “We are currently in the process of obtaining all the necessary permissions and licences to allow the works to proceed.

“We hope to be in receipt of these soon, which would permit a start on site in May, with a projected completion around the end of July.”