MOVES have been made to replace a long-standing bridge in Kilwinning which is in a poor condition.

A Compulsory Purchase Order was agreed to secure land required to install a replacement bridge over the Lugton Water and to provide temporary access for the work to be undertaken.

Negotiations have been ongoing since 2017 with the owners of the ground at Sevenacres.

Although substantial progress has been made, binding contracts are not yet in place with all of the owners to allow the works to be undertaken.

SEPA guidance for carrying out engineering works in a water course indicates that access is generally only allowed on site between March and September due to fish spawning season.

Therefore to prevent further delays in replacing the bridge, a Compulsory Purchase Order is required to give the council a title to the land.

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The existing Sevenacres Bridge is a 7.3m single span masonry arch structure and carries an unclassified single carriageway over the Lugton Water.

The average width between the parapets is 5m and the bridge has no verge or footway.

The bridge was repaired in the 1980s but significant deterioration has occurred since then. More recently two steel beams were installed on either side of the bridge to support the spandrels and parapets of the bridge, but these repairs haven’t prevented the ongoing deterioration of the fabric of the structure.

A structural assessment of the load capacity of the bridge was carried out in 2013. The bridge failed this assessment and an 18 tonne weight limit was implemented, however due to the ongoing deterioration to the fabric of the bridge it has been closed to vehicular traffic in 2022 for safety reasons.

A bridge replacement scheme was considered to be the best way forward.

Kilwinning councillor Donald Reid said at last week's full North Ayrshire Council meeting: “I have three consistent constituents who continue to pursue this with me and they will probably welcome the progress that’s been made.

“One week they blame the roads department and the next they blame the legal team on the council.

“But they have asked if a plan could be included and sent to the local members as to the actual bits of ground themselves.”

Aileen Craig, head of democratic services, agreed to arrange for this to be done.