Vital link between Edinburgh areas Longstone and Stenhouse due to be re-opened by Christmas as bridge works begin
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Work has begun ahead of schedule today, Thursday, November 30, to repair the footbridge damaged by flood water which has left a vital pathway link between two Edinburgh areas closed for more than four years.
Council staff are on site at Burnside Footbridge over Murray Burn off the Water of Leith, situated behind the old Longstone Inn building. Subject to water levels remaining low to accommodate repairs, the bridge should be re-opened before Christmas. The damaged bridge led to the closure of the pathway between Longstone and Stenhouse in July 2019. The bridge and path remained closed to the public while discussions about ownership of the bridge continued for years.
In February, councillors approved the £40,000 repair bill for the footbridge after local councillors and the community called for the vital link to be re-opened. The site at the footbridge, where the vacant pub and flats now sit and adjacent buildings were demolished, has been earmarked for new homes, with plans submitted earlier this year.
Speaking about the bridge repair work now going ahead, Longstone Community Council said: “Following a long wait while the complications of ownership and responsibility were being worked through, we're grateful that this was raised up at the Transport & Environment committee for expediting action.
"This is an important, quick pedestrian route to our neighbours in Saughton and Stenhouse. It may be improved upon again when the site is likely developed for housing.
“The scope for the project includes new overlay panels on the bridge deck, repair of the damaged abutments, and some tidying up around the bridge approaches. Subject to water levels, works should be completed before Christmas.”
Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “I know how important Burnside Bridge is to the local community as a right of way for pedestrians travelling between Longstone and Stenhouse. This is why, while it’s a private bridge, the council agreed to fund its repair.
“I’m pleased that work will is now underway ahead of schedule and, whether dependent, we’ll be able to restore this key link before Christmas.”