Councillor appeals for witnesses to the damage as Highland Council faces £200,000 bill to fix Tordarroch Bridge which spans the River Nairn and links Farr and Dunlichity in the Strathnairn area
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A councillor is calling on any witnesses who may have seen an important bridge being damaged to come forward, in a bid to avoid taxpayers having to foot a bill which could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Inverness South councillor Duncan Macpherson said the cost of repairing Tordarroch Bridge, which spans the River Nairn and links Farr and Dunlichity in the Strathnairn area, was likely to be more than £200,000.
It is believed an HGV may have been responsible for damaging a parapet and the wider structure of the bridge, although no one has come forward to say they witnessed such an incident taking place.
As a result, taxpayers would have to foot the repair bill.
The bridge, built in the 18th century, has been closed to motor vehicles since March 15. Cllr Macpherson said: “Highland Council have surveyed the recent damage to Tordarroch Bridge and the cost to rectify the damage to the bridge is estimated at costing taxpayers a whopping £200,000 unless any locals can identify the driver or vehicle owner, and then the council could claim off their vehicle insurance.
“So if you saw something, please tell me or the council and we can investigate.”
Secretary of Strathnairn Community Council, Neil Spence, said the bridge’s closure was a serious incomvenience, but necessary.
“Highland Council has stressed to the community council that it is dangerous to use the bridge, and that further use may lead to the involvement of police,” he said.
“It causes difficulties for farmers who have land on both sides of the river, as it is a four-mile detour every time they want to feed their animals.”
A spokeswoman for Highland Council said: “Anyone who has any information on how the damage was caused is asked to phone the police on 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“The bridge remains closed to all vehicles.
“Pedestrian and cycle access is being maintained.
“Until available resources are identified, it is not yet know when repairs may be made to the bridge.”