November date for Sparling Bridge reinstatment

Monday 21st November
The removal of the sparling bridge
The bridge swings round towards the riverside  car park
Monday 21st November The removal of the sparling bridge The bridge swings round towards the riverside car park

Dumfries and Galloway Council says the process of consulting with the community over Newton Stewart’s Sparling Bridge has delayed work to reinstate it.

The local authority now hope the bridge will be back up in November, months after the orignal timeline given of May to September.

A spokesperson for the council said: “As it stands completion of the foundation works is the end of September, and installation of the bridge and associated works by the middle of November.

“This may be subject to change due to ground conditions, and other matters such as land entry, permissions, etc. have been agreed.

“The timescale involved has been to allow a public consultation to allow the public to vote for their preferred option:

“Cree Valley Community Council carried out a public consultation in March 2017 to allow the public to vote on their preference between two options. Option A was to reinstall the bridge at the existing location, but to raise the deck by 1.2m to ensure the bridge deck was above the predicted 1 in 200 year flood event, and to construct associated ramps at either side of the river. Option B was to install the bridge at a new location, 100m downstream (south) of the existing location, where the bridge would be above the predicted 1 in 200 year flood event, but only one ramp would be required, on the east side of the river. Following the consultation exercise, the public’s preferred option was identified as Option B.

“Following the consultation exercise, time has been allowed for the necessary inspections such as structural and ground investigation surveys at the new location. “A programme for the Sparling Bridge has been divided into two contracts, one for foundations and one for steelwork. Since the bridge was removed in November 2016, a structural inspection has been carried out. The bridge is in good condition with only a few minor repairs required. It is therefore the intention to re-use the existing bridge.”