Invitation to White Bridge Opening Tomorrow

By bellmannews / September 8, 2023
View of refurbished and re-sited bridge

From Aberdeenshire Council Communications team –

The local community is invited to the opening of the White Bridge to mark the completion of the Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme tomorrow, Saturday, September 9 from 11am. Among the activities planned are the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by the Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Judy Whyte followed by a brief guided tour of the works themselves and a duck race organised by Stonehaven Sea Cadets.

Works on the scheme – which is designed to protect homes and businesses which have previously been badly affected by flooding events around the River Carron – began in the Spring of 2019.

Teams are finalising the reinstatement of those neighbouring gardens which were affected by the works and completing the final details.

The scheme will reduce the flood risk of 372 residential properties, two public utility sites, a school and an emergency service site. The level of flood protection provided by the scheme is well in excess of the current standard required by the Association of British Insurers.

Within the programme, the major works have included construction of 2km of flood walls, the installation of two higher capacity culverts and alterations to five bridges – including the refurbishment and reinstatement of the listed White Bridge – along the River Carron and its tributaries as they pass through Stonehaven.

The scheme also features innovative self-raising flood barriers, a pump system for surface water flooding and the creation of a large culvert that provides additional capacity during a flood event. Aesthetically the scheme has been finished in a granite stonework with sandstone and granite cope stones to match the surrounding environment.

Construction of the project was undertaken by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd who faced a number of challenges during the significant build – none more so than the Covid pandemic which delayed works.

Since the works began, the Stonehaven communities affected by the various elements of the scheme have been very understanding as the programme progressed.

Councillor Alan Turner, chair of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am really pleased that this flood protection scheme has been completed. We have never underestimated the impact the works have had on the local community. There has been disruption in terms of road, bridge and footpath closures – some of which had to be extended by necessity. On behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, I would like to thank all those affected for their patience and understanding and trust they will feel far more secure in their homes and properties in the future.”   

Cllr Wendy Agnew, chair of the Council’s Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, added: “Stonehaven has historically suffered from flooding which has affected so many local residences and businesses within the lower reach of the River Carron, causing properties to be evacuated which has been traumatic for all those involved. As a flood warden myself, I fully appreciate the impact that these flood events have had on our community and I am therefore delighted that this flood protection scheme has now been completed.”

Philip McKay, Head of the council’s Roads and Infrastructure Services with responsibility for Harbours and Flooding, said: “I am hugely proud of the efforts of everyone concerned in the design, preparation and construction of this massive project. It has been a significant undertaking – one of the larger infrastructure projects Aberdeenshire Council has delivered – and now that it’s completed, this flood protection scheme will give the Stonehaven community peace of mind for decades to come.”

Project timeline

September 2014 – council committee agrees funding/application to Scottish Government for funding

May 2015 – public consultation event

June 2015 – Flood Risk Management Act (2009) application

March 2017 – public hearing

June 2017 – committee confirms the proposed Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme with modifications

September 2017 – scheme becomes operational

November 2018 – contractor appointed following tender process

February 2019 – ecological works such as tree surgery

March 2019 – construction works start

Summer 2021 – Completion of construction works in Zones 4A, 1C, 1D, 1E, 2G

Summer 2023 – Completion of construction works in Zone 1B