Published: 19/07/2014 15:57 - Updated: 18/07/2014 12:11

Views sought for Bishopmill parapet

The deck of the old Elgin to Lossiemouth railway bridge is removed
The deck of the old Elgin to Lossiemouth railway bridge is removed

SUGGESTIONS are being sought on what to do with the parapet of Bishopmill Bridge.

The structure – known locally as the Red Brig – will have to be removed as part of Elgin’s £86 million flood alleviation scheme.

A new span for pedestrians over the River Lossie will replace it and initial plans were to scrap the old one in its entirety.

The future of the bridge has been a topic of conversation on social media, and at a recent meeting members of Elgin Community Council were asked their views on how the distinctive parapet could be reused.

Peter Haslam, project manager for the Elgin scheme, said: "The structure is mainly wrought iron and the parapet is the only thing worth saving."

He added: "It’s about 800 millimetres and could be bolted on to a plinth that would make it about one metre high, which is the required height for hand rails."

Mr Haslam said the bridge was scheduled to be dismantled some time in August.

It was suggested the parapet could be used along a section of the cycle path that will run along the top of the flood walls and embankments of the scheme once it is completed.

Members of the community council agreed to give the idea consideration and send their thoughts to Mr Haslam.

A major milestone in the Moray capital’s flood prevention work was reached this week. On Monday, demolition began on the disused railway bridge at Moycroft.

A large crane removed the deck and superstructure ahead of the dismantling of the stonework.

The bridge formed part of the Elgin to Lossiemouth railway which closed to passenger traffic in 1964, with the line shutting completely two years later.

Its removal will help to ensure the flow of the river is not impeded during times of high water.

The structure created a pinch point on the Lossie that contributed to flooding at South Lesmurdie, which has been hit several times in recent years.

Stone from the abutments will be dismantled and the material stored for use on council-owned bridges in need of repair.

Morayshire Railway’s Elgin to Lossiemouth’s branch line opened in August 1852.

A plaque on the bridge reads ‘James Aberneathy & Co Engineers Aberdeen 1885’ and suggests it is not the original span.

It is believed the old structure was replaced as a result of a collapse on the Macduff branch line near Auchterless on November 27, 1882, killing five people and injuring 15 others.

The Board of Trade report on the incident found it was caused by an internal fault in one of the cast iron girders constructed in 1857.

A recommendation was made to replace any cast iron bridges that did not have ample margin of theoretical strength with wrought iron girders.

The Elgin flood alleviation scheme is expected to be completed early next year.

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