Bridge damage hours after reopening

Gairnshiel Bridge was damaged only 24 hours after reopening
Gairnshiel Bridge was damaged only 24 hours after reopening

A historic Deeside landmark has been damaged - hours after reopening following extensive repairs.

Gairnshiel Bridge, near Ballater, was struck by a heavy vehicle, dislodging stonework.

Along with Milton Bridge, Gairnshiel - on the A939 Ballater to Tomintoul road - was closed for a fortnight to repair structural damage caused during the winter.

But within 24 hours of the work being completed the damage was discovered.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside Councillor Geva Blackett has been a fierce critic of heavy lorries using the Grade 1 1isted bridge.

She said: “I am really glad to see the bridges reopened as the detour for locals was both time consuming and expensive.

“I also know for a fact tourism spend in the area was affected.

“What is extremely disappointing, however, is to see that within 24 hours of the bridge being reopened someone in an HGV ignored the weight limit and smashed the side of the bridge.”

The councillor added that she would be raising the issue urgently with council officials and fellow ward representatives.