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Delayed Naver Bridge work to get underway at last – 142-year-old bridge to be demolished and road realigned for new structure


By David G Scott

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Highland Council has just announced that the long-awaited A836 Naver Bridge replacement work is confirmed for August 1.

The council has awarded the Naver Bridge replacement contract to Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd with set-up works commencing soon after August 1.

The Naver Bridge near Bettyhill will be upgraded soon. Picture supplied
The Naver Bridge near Bettyhill will be upgraded soon. Picture supplied

It is good news for north coast residents who are deeply concerned about the state of the current, 142-year-old bridge which has corroded metalwork, broken tar and crumbling stonework.

The project is required to replace the aged single-track wrought iron plate girder bridge over the River Naver south of Bettyhill. This road forms part of the North Coast 500 route.

The new 65m long three-span prestressed concrete bridge will be constructed immediately upstream of the existing bridge and includes realignment of the approach roads. The scheme will provide 450m of new road upgraded to single carriageway and the contract value is £11M.

The scheme includes various utility diversions. SSE diversions have been completed in advance. Scottish Water will carry out works to maintain water supplies to properties down the Skelpick Road and this is also expected to commence in the first week of August. The project is funded from the council’s capital programme.

The are where the bridge is sited is along the NC500 route and popular with tourists. Picture supplied
The are where the bridge is sited is along the NC500 route and popular with tourists. Picture supplied

Chair of the council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: “The bridge carries the A836 Tongue to Thurso road over the River Naver, near Bettyhill and is a vital transport link for not only the local community and businesses but also the many businesses who visit to the area.

“This is a major north coast infrastructure project, and is a significant part of our 6700km Highland road network. This demonstrates our commitment to improving the infrastructure in rural areas of Highland and I am delighted we are able to announce the contract has been awarded to enable the work to begin.”

The new bridge is expected to be complete in the autumn of next year to allow demolition and removal of the existing bridge structure in Winter 25/26. In the interest of public safety traffic control using traffic lights will be required during most of the works.


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