Angus motorists have breathed a sigh of relief after the re-opening of Brechin Bridge.
The A933 crossing over the River South Esk was “significantly weakened” by Storm Babet in October.
Record water levels which forced hundreds of people from their homes caused serious damage to the historic structure’s north pier.
It was completely closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic following the storm.
Many drivers were forced to detour via Montrose to get to and from Arbroath.
Angus Council faced a major challenge in assessing the full extent of damage to the 19th century structure.
And engineers had to wait for the river level to drop before they could build a coffer dam around the damaged pier.
The repair operation got underway in earnest last month when a working platform was built at the bridge.
On Monday afternoon the authority announced the project had been successfully completed – ahead of schedule.
The council forecast it might be towards the end of this month before the bridge would re-open.
“Despite significant damage and challenging conditions, the work has been completed slightly ahead of schedule and is now open on all routes (and to cats!),” said the council.
The feline reference followed reports drivers had moved barriers to get across the closed-off bridge, which an engineer suggested wasn’t safe to even carry a cat at the time.
“We know that this will be very welcome news to many,” said the council.
“We’d like to thank you for your patience while this work was completed.”
Bridge of Dun works to start
Meanwhile, work is due to start soon on repairs to the near 240-year-old Bridge of Dun.
Storm Babet drove a large hole in the carriageway of the A-listed bridge near Montrose.
But experts said relief arches incorporated into the original design may have helped save it from disaster.
At this stage, however, the repair cost is unknown.
“We have a contractor appointed who are commencing works in the next few weeks and then we will have a better indication of costs and timescales,” added the council.