New bridge over the Atlantic opened

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A replacement bridge over the Atlantic has been finished – not between Seil and the mainland, but over the ocean between the Isles of Bernera and Lewis.

Despite additional celebration events being cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation, there was an excellent local turnout at the bridge’s opening ceremony.

Work began in March after serious structural defects were discovered in August 2020, leading to an immediate 7.5 tonne weight limit being introduced on the original bridge.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes, confirmed in her February Budget update that an additional £32 million would be provided for local bridges maintenance, which would help rebuild and maintain key lifeline bridges such as the Great Bernera bridge.

It was recently been confirmed £2.62m of the £3.1m cost of the replacement bridge will be met by this Scottish Government funding.

MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, attended the official opening of the new Bernera Bridge. He said: ‘I am delighted that the Bernera Bridge replacement has now been completed and is open for public use.

‘Funding for infrastructure projects such as this is incredibly important for our island communities, and I am glad that the Scottish Government were able to provide the necessary support for the Bernera Bridge replacement as well as many other lifeline bridges across Scotland.’

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Caption: MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, attended the official opening of the new Bernera Bridge in December.