A new bridge will connect a village with the city centre after councillors agreed to award a £3 million contract for a company to carry out the construction.
Work on a replacement Burnshot Bridge is set to begin later this month after the contract was given the green light by the council’s finance and resources committee.
Balfour Beatty, the only company to bid for the contract, will build the bridge from Kirkliston over the A90. It is expected to be completed by March or April 2020.
The original bridge was built in 1964, but was demolished in November 2017 due to the structure deteriorating. Loose concrete was removed to “maintain the safety” of vehicles using the A90 and the bridge was closed to traffic in May 2017.
The council’s transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “I am delighted that we are able to move forward with this project following contract approval – this is an extremely complex scheme and I know how much it means to the local community.
“Throughout feasibility, demolition and design stages we have been in close communication with local residents, businesses and groups and more recently we have consulted with active travel groups with a view to developing cycling and pedestrian links in the area.”
The total cost of the project is £4,585,227 – demolition of the former bridge cost £820,677, while the design set the council back £323,155 and the construction of the new bridge carries a budget of £3,441,395.
As part of the 2018-19 council budget, money was committed by the SNP/Labour coalition for the construction of a new bridge. But in a briefing from council officials earlier this year, it was confirmed that construction work will not start until the spring. The council has “anticipated that construction would commence shortly and will take approximately ten to 11 months”.
An opposition councillor has blasted the delays to the project.
Liberal Democract ward Cllr Kevin Lang previously campaigned for the funding to be provided for the replacement bridge. He welcomed the contract being awarded but asked for urgency.
Cllr Lang said: “It’s not just the Burnshot Bridge that needs rebuilding. The council needs to rebuild trust with the people of Kirkliston too. After all, it is now more than two years since the original bridge was closed and yet we are only now at a stage of signing a contract for a replacement.
“This kind of delay would never have been tolerated for a bridge in the city centre. Yet people in Kirkliston have been expected to just go without a critical part of their local transport network. This is why the work needs to be completed as quickly as possible.”
Conservative ward Cllr Graham Hutchison, who also sits on the finance and resources committee, said he was “delighted” to support the appointment of a contractor. He added that the progress was “long overdue and welcome news for residents in Kirkliston and the surrounding area”.