Last week marked the official opening of Invercoe Bridge, Lochaber. Convener of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Lobban formally opened the bridge with pupils from Glencoe Primary School and Kinlochleven High School and Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans.
Invercoe Bridge has undergone a complete bridge replacement as part of the Scottish Government’s Local Bridge Maintenance and the Council’s Capital Programme.
The Highland Council Convener Lobban said: “The opening of the new Invercoe Bridge marks a significant infrastructure improvement that will increase transport connectivity, reduce daily commute time, and create economic corridors that are integral to sustainable and economic growth for the people of Glencoe, Kinlochleven and the wider Lochaber area.
“I am sure that this major project delivered by Highland Council’s Capital Programme and supported by a £4.1M grant from the Scottish Government’s Local Bridge Maintenance Fund, will be very welcomed by the local community and all the visitors who are going to benefit.”
Environment and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans added: “I’d like to thank everyone in community for their support and understanding in times of unavoidable disruption and for accommodating the construction teams, many of whom were living away from their families much of the time. The new bridge is completed in time for the busy spring/summer season and will be welcomed by all that travel through some of finest scenery in world.”
Story Contracting Ltd, were awarded the £5.5M contract by the Highland Council, to replace the old Invercoe bridge which was in a very poor condition and had been reduced to single lane traffic. The works required the installation of a temporary bridge and single track road to demolish the old bridge, install new piled foundations, cast new concrete abutments and a pier, install 175 tonne steel bridge beams, cast a concrete deck, and lay the new road.
Managing Director of Story Contracting (Scotland), John MacArthur said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the replacement of Invercoe Bridge, our first civil engineering project for our new client, The Highland Council, ahead of the peak tourism season.”
John MacArthur added: “This project required collaboration, innovation, and community engagement to ensure its safe and efficient delivery, and we are proud of what we have achieved together. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Highland Council and are grateful to the people of Glencoe for their patience throughout this essential work.”
Local Government Empowerment Minister, Joe FitzPatrick said: “We’re pleased to have provided £4.1M from our Local Bridge Maintenance Fund to support the Invercoe Bridge replacement, which I know will be welcomed by the local community and those travelling to and from the Highlands as we approach the tourist season. This is just one example of our work with local government to invest in infrastructure projects that drive inclusive economic growth and build the resilient, sustainable communities that the people of Scotland expect and deserve.”
The bridge has been open since late 2022, however further environmental works continued until March 2023, including the installation of scour protection, removal of the temporary bridge and road, and restoration of the land to its previous condition.
The Highland Council area covers the longest road network in the UK with 4,000 miles of local roads, 1,000 miles of footpaths and 1,400 bridges spanning a region covering one third of Scotland, investing in our roads, bridges, footpath and ferry infrastructure is a key priority for our communities and is fundamental to the connectivity and economic growth of the Highlands. The Council welcomes future funding support from the Scottish Government to enable key projects to continue to be delivered across Highland.