A brand new bridge was installed across the widest part of the River Carron last week (Friday 27th April) – and is the first time a bridge has ever crossed this part of the historic river.
The £840K Abbotshaugh Footbridge will provide an important link between the Bainsford, Langlees, Carron and Carronshore communities. It spans 48m - the same length as seven double decker buses - and is held together by 1500 bolts.
The bright green bridge is suitable for both walking and cycling and will be located in the historic Abbotshaugh Estate, which houses a number of landmarks such as Abbotshaugh Woodland, Carron House and the Love and Kisses Sculpture.
The 27 tonne bridge was hoisted into place in two parts by a 500 tonne crane.
Councillor Paul Garner, Spokesperson for the Environment, said: “The Abbotshaugh Bridge represents a significant investment for the local area, and is the first brand new bridge in the Falkirk Council area for over 100 years. It will connect residents and visitors to recreation, amenities, employment, the Helix and the Kelpies – one of the biggest tourist attractions in Scotland.
“The bridge and the surrounding paths are “shared use”, which means they are easily accessible for cyclists, walkers, users with mobility issues and horse-riders. The bridge has been made to last for 100 years, and we hope it will be an enjoyable resource for current and future generations who live along the River Carron.”
An official opening event to commemorate the bridge will be held in the summer.
Abbotshaugh Footbridge was developed following a consultation carried out by Communities along the Carron (CATCA). The consultation identified a need for a crossing which connected many of the River Carron communities to the Helix and other scenic pathways.
Two other bridges crossing the Carron, the Dale Bridge and the Dorrator Bridge, have been have been replaced in the last few years.
Construction of the new bridge was funded by Falkirk Council, the Scottish Government through Sustrans’ Community Links programme, the European funding organisation Kelvin Valley and Falkirk LEADER programme.