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New Bridge of Bennie

One of the remaining challenges in getting the rail track to Banchory is the Burn of Bennie, currently the original bridge that carried the track conveys the Deeside Way.

This original bridge built in the late 1800’s had masonry restoration work carried out by the RDRPS within the last 18 months. However, we can’t use this bridge for rail track until the Society has built a new bridge in parallel.

The new bridge is required to carry pedestrians, horses and vehicular traffic to continue to serve the needs of the Leys Estate and provide the new Deeside Way route.

Construction of such a bridge with the capacity to carry 8 wheeled vehicles and a load of 20 tonnes is no mean feet and had the potential to be prohibitively expensive, then along came Shell !

Shell UK offered the Society a quantity of surplus steel from the Brent Abandonment Project. The offer was made in December and representatives from the Society were able to quickly assess what was available; based on our initial assessment the massive 15.7 mtr x 900mm “I” section beams not only meet but exceed our requirements and in doing so simplifies bridge construction by taking us out of the water course.

We are most grateful for the donation from Alistair Hope and his team on the Brent Abandonment Project

Current status:

     I.     The steel has been collected from the Shell base and is stored at McIntosh Plant (MPH) Echt. Shell provided the craneage and handling, transport by MPH.

     II.     Meetings with Planners from Aberdeenshire Council have confirmed that the current approved planning meets their needs; no further application needed

     III.     Meetings have been held with Interested parties such as Deeside Fisheries and our Landlords being The Leys Estate, all are satisfied with what is being proposed by the Society.

     IV.     Full site and topographical surveys are ongoing week commencing Monday 26th February

     V.     Design will start when results of the surveys are complete

     VI.     An initial budget estimate is in place and will be refined once the full design has been completed.

     VII.     Timescale: Ideally, we’d like the new bridge installed within the end of 2018 but availability of funds may be an issue; I’ve got the begging bowl out !

     VIII.  Project is being managed by Fergus McGhie coincidentally, an Ex Shell project manager