New £5.5m bridge officially opened in Lochaber

Councillor Bill Lobban and councillor Ken Gowans (centre) with members of the Story team (left-right) James O’Sullivan, John MacArthur, Serge Gomez, Darren Pennycuick, Brian O’Hare, and Craig Lafferty. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image

THE new Invercoe Bridge in Lochaber has officially been opened after Story Contracting completed works on the £5.5 million build.

Councillor Bill Lobban, convener of the Highland Council, formally opened the bridge alongside pupils from Glencoe Primary and Kinlochleven High School and councillor Ken Gowans.

The crossing replaces the former Invercoe Bridge, which was deemed to be in a ‘very poor’ condition and had been reduced to single lane traffic. The works required the installation of a temporary bridge and single track road to demolish the old bridge, as well as the installation of new piled foundations, the casting of new concrete abutments and a pier, installation of 175 tonne steel bridge beams, casting of a concrete deck, and laying of the new road.

John MacArthur, MD of Story Contracting, said, “We are delighted to have successfully completed the replacement of Invercoe Bridge, our first civil engineering project for our new client, The Highland Council, ahead of the peak tourism season.

“This project required collaboration, innovation, and community engagement to ensure its safe and efficient delivery, and we are proud of what we have achieved together. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Highland Council and are grateful to the people of Glencoe for their patience throughout this essential work.”

Councillor Lobban added, “The opening of the new Invercoe Bridge marks a significant infrastructure improvement that will increase transport connectivity, reduce daily commute time, and create economic corridors that are integral to sustainable and economic growth for the people of Glencoe, Kinlochleven and the wider Lochaber area.

“I am sure that this major project delivered by Highland Council’s Capital Programme and supported by a £4.1m grant from the Scottish Government’s Local Bridge Maintenance Fund, will be very welcomed by the local community and all the visitors who are going to benefit.”

Environment and infrastructure committee chair, Cllr Ken Gowans added, “I’d like to thank everyone in community for their support and understanding in times of unavoidable disruption and for accommodating the construction teams, many of whom were living away from their families much of the time. The new bridge is completed in time for the busy spring/summer season and will be welcomed by all that travel through some of finest scenery in world.”