Comhairle secures bridge money

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been successful with six applications to the Scottish Government for grants from its Local Bridge Maintenance Fund.

The £32m fund received 131 applications from 25 local authorities, oversubscribing the scheme by £75.7m.

The comhairle, however, is to receive £6.66m, the highest allocation to any individual authority.

The allocation includes £2.62m towards the £3.1m cost of replacing the bridge to Bernera, which will be fully open to traffic early December 2021.

The other successful applications will allow essential works  at Calbost, Maaruig, Scalpay Bridge, North Ford and Loch an Obe.  These works will either replace or increase the life of the existing bridge.

Leader Councillor Roddie Mackay said: ‘Some time ago we were assured of Scottish Government support for the works on Bernera Bridge after we made the case for additional funding being required.

‘So it is pleasing to see that now coming forward just prior to the full opening of the replacement bridge at the beginning of December.

‘In addition the funding for Scalpay, which is our largest bridge structure, and the other areas is most welcome.

‘An area such as the islands relies upon critical transport links such as bridges and causeways for social and economic resilience between communities.’