Work started this week to install monitoring equipment on a Mearns road bridge as part of efforts to protect it from the impact of heavy vehicles using it in contravention of weight limits.
Inverbervie’s Jubilee Bridge, which carries the A92 Stonehaven-Dundee road and is the main entrance to the town, has already had temporary barriers put in to safeguard the parapet.
Now “Weigh in Motion” technology, supplemented by number plate recognition cameras, is being introduced to identify vehicles crossing it in excess of the 44-tonne standard road weight limit.
The system will remain in place for up to four years and will allow council bridges engineers to get improved information on the structural damage caused by heavy vehicles.
Installation work began on Monday and should be complete by the end of the week.
During this time, the following daytime traffic restrictions will be in place - Bridgeview side road will be closed, and the A92 will be reduced to a single carriageway with traffic lights in operation.
Aberdeenshire Council’s structures manager Donald MacPherson said: “I think the public are starting to become more aware of the importance of our bridges to the local transportation network, particularly where they have been inconvenienced by closures linked to vehicular damage.
“Given recent publicity around damage to some of our historic bridges, including Gairnshiel, Spittal Burn and Abbeyton Bridges, this technology clearly may have the potential to be used in other locations, to identify vehicles contravening weight limits and causing damage.”
Chair of the council’s infrastructure services committee Peter Argyle said: “Doing this work now is intended to safeguard the bridge’s long-term integrity, ultimately keeping this bridge and the road open for everybody, avoiding potentially lengthy closures and restrictions for repairs, so it’s great to see it begin and I look forward to seeing the impact of this technology.”
The work is costing just over £150,000 and council engineers will be contacting local residents who may be directly affected by the installation work.