Lifeline bridge needs repairs

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Bulges appearing in a lifeline bridge could cut off island communities.

Concerns are increasing that the state of Kilninver bridge is getting worse.

A long-time bulge on the left of the bridge in the Oban direction is getting bigger, and more stones are now missing from it.

Easdale and Seil Community Council are getting more complaints and have flagged it up to Argyll and Bute Council both in the past and now.

Council engineers who have checked the bridge have said there is no problem.

Zim Knight, convenor of Easdale and Seil Community Council, said: ‘There’s been a bulge there for ages but it is getting worse. We have had a number of people contact us worried about it.

‘Recently they’ve been digging up that part of the road putting cables in and the bulge has got bigger, stones and bits are falling out.

‘We have been told the council has checked it out and it is fine but we are wanting to know when it was last checked.

‘We understand they are going to go back and have another look.’

Mr Knight said if the bridge closed communities on the Seil side would be temporarily ‘stuck’.

He added: ‘There is an emergency plan in place to put another crossing in over a field and the river but if the bridge does go, the only other way out would be over Ardmaddy and down to the Melfort road, only do-able in a 4×4 though.’

Last month the Scottish Government announced that a £32 million Local Bridge Maintenance Fund would be shared by 19 councils, over this year and next, to rebuild or maintain 74 local road bridges – Argyll and Bute Council is one of them.

Kilninver’s  bridge on the B844 is on the authority’s list, with £1,194,000 allocated to it.

Mr Knight said: ‘If they’ve got the money to make good the bridge, they might as well get on with it.’

Other bridges allocated funding across Argyll are :

B840-140 Ardchonnell Bridge, £40,000
A846-270 Glenegedale (2),  Islay, £59,700
A816-120 Oude, £1,194,000
A849-280 Pennyghael Bridge, Ross of Mull, £1.193, 000
B842-010 Claonaig Bridge, £47,700
B842-150 Whitestone Bridge, Kintyre, £40,000
B839-050 Lochgoilhead Bridge, £198,000
A815-230 Cothouse Bridge, £51,700