08/24/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/24/2017 06:43
Pupils from Tarradale primary joined local councillors and guests earlier today (Thursday 24 August) to officially open the new £3.3M railway bridge in Muir of Ord.
The new crossing carries vehicles travelling on the A862 through the village over the main Inverness to Dingwall rail line and replaces the previous bridge which had a single lane traffic restriction on it. This old bridge was dismantled as part of the works.
The contractor George Leslie Ltd, started on site at the end of 2015. One of the challenges was maintaining access and keeping disruptions to a minimum for all road vehicles, pedestrians and trains while constructing was underway. Temporary traffic restrictions were in place to keep traffic flowing and the installation of 22 prefabricated concrete parapets was done overnight to minimise the impact on users. Drainage works, improvement of the new North Road - West Road junction, new traffic signals and traffic calming measures through the village were also part of the contract.
Today's opening ceremony began with a procession of the school pupils and guests to the bridge where Head Girl Caitlyn Heggie and Head Boy Scott Fraser joined the Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Councillors Margaret Paterson and Angela MacLean to cut a ribbon.
The project was delivered on time and on budget. Throughout the works the Council liased closely with the community and after the ceremony the local Councillors paid tribute to their understanding and patience during the works.
Ross and Cromarty Civic Leader, Councillor Margaret Paterson said: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Muir of Ord. It was a big undertaking but the new bridge is a huge improvement. I hope that now the work is finished people feel any hold-ups were worth it as the benefits to the village can already be felt and seen.'
Councillor Angela MacLean said: 'When I was elected 14 years ago I worked closely with former Councillor David Chisholm to ensure the project was on the capital funding programme. To see the work now completed and the improvement the new bridge has for local people is rewarding for everyone involved.'
Councillor Graham MacKenzie said: 'I was deeply disappointed that a prior commitment to other Council business meant that I was unable to attend the opening ceremony for the new bridge. I am very pleased that the construction phase is now complete and would wish to pay tribute to the contractors for a job well done. I am especially delighted for the vibrant community that represents the Muir of Ord spirit and know that the new bridge will sit alongside the Community Hub in enhancing the village for locals and visitors alike.'
Councillor Alister Mackinnon who was also unable to be at the ceremony due to council business added: 'I'm delighted that the sun shone and the official opening ceremony went well as it is important to mark these occasions within the community.. I thought it was particularly fitting that the children were centre stage as they will be the ones using the bridge for many decades to come. Thank you to them and to everyone involved.'