Damage sustained by the Sparling Bridge during the flood that hit Newton Stewart on December 30 is “worst than expected”.
Divers sent down by the council to inspect the buttresses of the bridge, which was constructed by the army in 1998, revealed that the damage was “significant.”
Temporary repairs to stabilise one of the bridge’s abutments will be done before the bridge deck is lifted to a level that water will be less likely to reach during any future floods.
Two new abutments will be built on the bridge to ensure the bridge is fully stabilised. Members of Cree Valley Community Council heard on Monday that the project to raise the bridge by 1.2 metres will avoid the bridge acting like a dam when the Cree is in spate is now in the hands of the local authority’s design team. As the Army built the bridge, Dumfries and Galloway Council will ask if the service want to be involved.
Community councillor David Inglis had written to the council to ask that the Penkiln Bridge further upstream be given a make over as it was looking a bit “tired”.
Chairman Clifford Smithers appealed for property owners in Newton Stewart and Minnigaff who have been hit by flooding to take advantage of the council’s special offer of a 70 per cent discount on flood gates. He said: “It’s up to the individual. But if you don’t buy them and your house gets flooded that tough. The council have purchased the gates and made them available.”