A historic bridge is to close for four weeks after an incident involving a lorry – with drivers now facing an almost 50-mile diversion.
The vehicle, which was left dangling over the edge, collided with the B974 Cairn O’Mount Spittal Burn Bridge yesterday, leading to the emergency closure by Aberdeenshire Council.
The bridge, on the road between Banchory and Fettercairn, has been damaged by vehicles in the past, including an incident last month.
A diversion has been put in place that will send drivers to Fettercairn and then towards Stonehaven, before taking the A957 Slug Road to Banchory – a detour of just under 50 miles.
Drivers of heavy vehicles have also been warned to be aware of the potential damage that could be caused to historic bridges – with council chiefs saying that, in the past, static caravans and even a tank have crossed at Spittal Burn Bridge.
Combined with the damage to the parapet in this latest incident, the bridge has been deemed unsafe by Aberdeenshire Council.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Emergency repairs will need to take place before the route is reopened.
The vehicle which damaged the bridge has been identified and the council is set to pursue repair costs through vehicle insurance.
Structures manager Donald MacPherson said: “Sadly this is not a rare occurrence on our network of historic bridges. We have a number which are regularly damaged by vehicles, leading to costly repairs, not all of which are recovered from insurers as the vehicles responsible are not always known.
“The need to close this route for such a significant time, clearly an inconvenience to locals and visitors to the area, highlights how important some of our bridges are for the connectivity of the area.”
Mr MacPherson added: “The drivers of large and heavy vehicles should be aware of the potential for damage to our historic bridges and choose their routes accordingly.”