The bridge was first erected in 1913 and spanned from the Esplanade directly to the beach. Due to an increase of fishing boats arriving at Lossiemouth the bridge was deemed too low and had to be pulled down in 1915 to provide unrestricted access to seatown harbour. The current bridge was re built in 1918 around the corner at its current position by the Elgin Harbour board as part of the development of the spynie canal and the seatown.
Progress to date
With the demise of the Harbour Board the bridge was surveyed by the Lossiemouth Town Council who retook ownership. Ownership of the bridge was assumed to have been handed over to the follow-on agencies of the Grampian region Moray District and Moray Councils. Following further investigation by the trust it was confirmed that the Crown now accepts ownership of the bridge.
Unfortunately the Crown have stated that they have no intention or Obligation to do any work to the bridge and there is no legal requirement for them to do so. It is also accepted that as the Crown only owns the bridge by default and they would be keen to see the transfer of ownership to any body that could maintain the bridge in a suitable manner.
We as the LCDT have considered gaining ownership via a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the bridge. Currently the trust does not have the funds to provide adequate Public Liability insurance. We are in the process of sourcing adequate funds to enable us to take ownership of the bridge.
The primary aim by the LCDT is to ensure public access to the East Beach for locals and visitors alike. The Bridge in itself is a tourist attraction and is one of the main reasons to visit the town. To establish the current condition of the bridge the LCDT have commissioned two reports from Fairhurst, Elgin.
- The first inspection report indicates the structural integrity of the Bridge and the relatively poor present condition.
- The second survey report indicates that whilst still structurally sound there are worrying decay and safety problems with the metal handrails and associated support Structures. The Second report also identifies a spectrum of maintenance and repair options. This report however didn’t cover the condition of the wooden support structure below the water line, the condition of which is therefore unknown but crucial for long term use.
We are in the process of seeking funding to obtain a full structural survey and options appraisal report, this is an essential part of funding applications to ensure we raise enough money to repair or replace the bridge.
At this present time, we are in the process of sending out detailed tender brief documents to surveyors for us to determine the cost of the full structural survey and options appraisal report. This will then enable us to apply for further funding and progress with the above.