Major step forward in Elgin’s flood protection scheme

A major step towards the completion of Moray’s biggest-ever flood alleviation scheme takes place today when a new bridge over the River Lossie is dropped into place.

The bridge at Pansport Road in Elgin has been constructed at a cost of £7million and is a significant step towards the completion of the £86million scheme, which is currently around midway through construction and due to be completed early in 2015.

A mobile crane capable of lifting up to 700tonnes will be used to put the bridge into place, with the Leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, welcoming a ‘big milestone’ in the scheme.

He said: “There has been a lot of work undertaken since the scheme started in 2011, and we are starting to see the impact on the town’s landscape.

“This is a huge investment by the council to protect homes and businesses, and it feels like we’re making great progress.”

The Pansport Bridge is the second bridge to be erected in as many weeks in the area. A 75-tonne footbridge was craned into place over the River Findhorn last Wednesday as part of the £45million flood alleviation scheme for Forres/Pilmuir.

Forres councillor and chair of the Moray Council’s Flood Alleviation Sub Committee, Cllr George Alexander, said he was delighted to see the progress on both schemes.  He added: “The work done on both schemes has already improved flood protection for many residents and businesses,” he said.

“And each stage that is reached the protection gets better. We’ll all look forward to 2015 when both the Forres and Elgin schemes are completed and everyone is protected.”

Around 600 homes and 250 businesses will be protected by the Elgin scheme, which is designed to cope with around 190tonnes of floodwater every second, typical of an event that is expected to happen every 200 years.

Elgin has suffered catastrophic floods in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2009, causing millions of pounds of damage and forcing people from their homes for months – sometimes years – whilst repairs took place.

Moray Council agreed last year that the new bridge would be named in honour of Elgin’s twin-town in Bavaria, Landshut.

At the time local Labour councillor Barry Jarvis welcomed the decision, saying:  “I full endorse the request to name this bridge the Landshut Bridge. The Elgin Flood Alleviation scheme the biggest of it’s kind in existence and this bridge is a vital enhancement to the roads infrastructure that will help to protect housing and secure the economic potential for Elgin.”