Historic Highland bridge to close unless £550,000 funding is reached

A bridge traversing the River Ness in the Highlands may have to close until hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding is found to carry out urgent repairs.

The historic wrought iron Infirmary suspension bridge in Inverness is more than 140 years old and stretches 83-metres long between Ness Walk and Ness Bank.

Highland Council said repairs will cost £550,000 to bring it back from its deteriorated state, which is being monitored closely.

It added the closure is necessary in the interest of public safety.

Infirmary Bridge in Inverness picture: Highland Council

Councillors were informed that currently there is no capital budget allocated for the B listed bridge within the council budget.

A statement on the council website read: “This was the message that the Council’s Roads Operations Manager, John Taylor informed Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee this week.

"He also informed Councillors that all reasonable steps to delay the closure without compromising public safety were being taken into consideration.

“Urgent repairs costing a minimum of £550,000 are required and failure to carry out these repairs could result in the closure of the bridge in the near future on the grounds of health and safety.”

Provost of Inverness and Area, Cllr Helen Carmichael said: “Public safety is paramount and Members’ support a temporary closure of the Infirmary Bridge until a funding solution can be found for its repairs.”

Built in the 1880s, the Infirmary bridge is built with wrought iron trusses supported by steel hangers and has steel cables and wrought iron latticework towers.

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