Repairs to the first of six bridges in the King Edward area of Aberdeenshire are expected to be completed by the end of November.
Heavy downpours wreaked havoc on the crossings in the north-east in September 2019.
The effect from the persistent rainfall left all six completely impassable resulting in long detours for residents and local businesses.
When will all the bridges be repaired?
It is expected that the Bridge of Fortrie will be the first of the crossings to be completely repaired and open to traffic again.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
Meanwhile, projects to rebuild the North Litterty Bridge and Bruntyards Culvert are estimated to be finished by the end of the year.
And repairs to Gorrachie, Millcroft and Mill of Balmaud will follow in 2022.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid praised the commitment of Aberdeenshire Council for restoring the bridges.
He said: “The emergency services have regularly found themselves lost while trying to reach isolated villagers due to the difficult diversions in place.
“It has also proved to be a huge burden on farmers and businesses which is why news of Fortrie being completed by the end of the month will be a relief to many.
“This is the first milestone in a major recovery programme for infrastructure in the area which has been devastated by the weather in recent years.”
Disruption from lost bridges
Apart from creating lengthy diversions for residents and businesses, the disruption has caused other problems for locals.
On occasion, ambulance drivers have found themselves lost while navigating the closed roads.
The Press and Journal reported in March there were claims that on least five occasions drivers had difficulty getting to callouts.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that work is progressing on Fortrie Bridge and we expect completion by mid-November.
“It remains our intention to have the bridges at Bruntyards and North Litterty replaced in the current financial year – dependent on the availability of resources – and design work has commenced on the remaining bridges which will be featured in the following year’s budget.”