10 June 2022

Aberdeenshire Council commissions independent structural assessment of Park Bridge

Aberdeenshire Council is to commission an independent structural assessment of Park Bridge to help shape the future use of the historic structure. 

The A-listed two-span cast-iron bridge was built in 1854 by James Abernethy, spanning 86 metres across the River Dee between Durris and Drumoak. 

As with so many bridges which were built in the era of horse-drawn carts, Park Bridge has been significantly impacted by the volume of heavy, modern-day traffic – particularly commercial and agricultural - for which it was not built to withstand. 

The historic crossing which carries the C35K road has been closed to all motorised traffic since February 2019 following growing concerns over the structure’s safety, however it remains open for use by pedestrians and cyclists. 

Prior to closure it was restricted to 3-tonne gross vehicle weight based on structural assessment work carried out in 2006. 

The new assessment will determine the limiting structural capacity of the bridge deck in a restored condition and provide the basis for determining the most appropriate repair regime and subsequent level of loading which can be safely permitted. 

Bridges manager Donald Macpherson explained: “We anticipate that this work will take up to two months to procure and up to six months to complete. The outcome of these important structural checks will provide the basis for determining the preferred future repair and conservation of this historic bridge.”