Specialist unit to help bridges team get under the arches for series of inspections

Specialist access equipment will be allowing Aberdeenshire Council to get a unique perspective on some of the area’s bridges as part of a series of inspections next week.

The authority’s bridge maintenance team will be using an ‘underbridge unit’ to allow them to get a close view of the underside of the structures – essential work that would otherwise be very difficult or almost impossible to do.

The unit has a secure platform that will allow team members to be safely lowered over the side of the bridges so that detailed condition inspections can take place.

Over the coming week, the team will inspect six bridges across Banff, Huntly, Aboyne, Banchory and Stonehaven.

To allow this work to take place safely, traffic lights or short closures will be in operation as follows:

Banff (Mon, Aug 12)

A98 Banff Bridge: Traffic lights will be in operation from 9.30am - 3.30pm.

Huntly (Tue, Aug 13)

A97 Bogie Bridge: Traffic lights will be in operation from 9am - 11.30am.

C129s Gibston Bridge: The bridge will be closed from 12.30pm - 3pm.

Aboyne, Banchory & Stonehaven (Wed, Aug 14)

B976 Bridge o’ Ess, Aboyne: The bridge will be closed from 9.30am - 11.30am.

B974 Dee Bridge, Banchory: Traffic lights will be in operation from 12.30pm - 2.30pm.

U71k Glaslaw Bridge, Stonehaven: The bridge will be closed from 3pm – 5pm.
 
Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cllr Peter Argyle said: “It can be very tricky to do much more than a visual inspection of some of our bridges due to their height or location.

“This specialist unit will allow the team to get the access they need to conduct a full inspection of the structures, allowing them to determine if any maintenance or repairs are required and helping us to take early action if required.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “It is important for us to regularly monitor our bridges network as many of them have been serving communities for decades or even hundreds of years.

“By proactively assessing their condition we can work to ensure they continue to serve motorists and pedestrians for years to come. The work has been planned to minimise disruption and we would thank everybody in advance for their patience.”

Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained where possible and diversion routes will be in place where applicable.