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Kylesku Bridge given design award

By Mike Merritt

Kylesku Bridge, Drochaid a' Chaolais Chumhaing, Historic Environment Scotland, HES
Kylesku Bridge, Drochaid a' Chaolais Chumhaing, Historic Environment Scotland, HES

ONE of the most photographed bridges in the north of Scotland has made history.

Kylesku Bridge has featured in films, adverts and TV programmes such as Top Gear and is a highlight of the North Coast 500 road trip.

The stunning crossing in north west Sutherland has now been awarded category A status by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) after it was recognised as being of special architectural interest.

The bridge will also be the first to be legally renamed with a Gaelic tag – Drochaid a' Chaolais Chumhaing.

Spanning the short, but deep sea inlet of An Caolas Cumhang, it is one of Scotland's most visually striking and technically innovative modern concrete bridges.

Built between 1981 and 1984, the quality of the bridge's design and its method of construction have been recognised through awards, including the Scottish Award for Civil Engineering Construction and the Concrete Society Award.

The decision to list Kylesku Bridge follows on from a consultation launched by HES and Highland Council, where members of the public were invited to express their views.

Elizabeth McCrone, head of designations at HES, said: "Drochaid a' Chaolais Chumhaing is one of Scotland's most architecturally distinguished bridges of the second half of the 20th century.

"The bridge is also an emotive and poignant reminder of the modernisation such civil engineering projects brought to remote areas of the Highlands, and the subsequent impact they had on traditional ways of life."

The cost of the concrete box-girder bridge was £4 million and was formally opened by the Queen on August 8, 1984.

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