Five Fife bridges are in line for strengthening works in a £7 million programme.
Councillors agreed to the measures this week after hearing Leven’s railway bridge and Bawbee bridge, Broad Street in Cowdenbeath, the New Bridge at Guardbridge and the Lyne Burn bridge underneath Dunfermline’s Halbeath Road are all in need of major repairs.
The £2 million package for the two Leven crossings includes proposals to create a link road using the former power station bridge to help ease the disruption on the local community.
Samples are being taken to ensure the route would be up to the pressure of performing as a temporary public road and negotiations are being held with its owner.
Fife council officer Murray Scott said he was hopeful the crossing would be suitable for the job.
“It was constructed for a power station so it is quite a robust structure,” he said.
Mr Scott acknowledged some money might have to be spent on bringing it up to scratch but noted there were’t “many Plan Bs” for the Leven project.
“The benefits outweigh the negatives,” he added.
Councillors on the economy, tourism, planning and transportation committee said there would have to be extensive community consultation before any of the works went ahead.
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The repairs will be planned for over the next four years.
Labour councillor Colin Davidson said he was concerned about the impact in Levenmouth, in particular, where recent developments have led to disruption for residents and businesses.
Convener Altany Craik agreed: “We should be particularly focused on the disruption to communities – they need to be informed.”
Mr Craik added: “The overall condition of Fife’s road structures is good, and to support our roads network bridge strengthening and maintenance work needs sustained investment.
“Bridge works are expensive and are vital to maintaining our roads infrastructure.
“Targeted investment in maintenance work is necessary to keep our bridges safe for use, fit for purpose and to minimise restrictions on Fife’s road network.”
The councillors were told Fife Council maintains 443 bridges, with a total replacement value of around £387m.
In Cowdenbeath the deteriorating Broad Street bridge over the Fife Circle railway has been the focus of strengthening work over a number of years.
Mr Scott agreed effective management was essential.
“We do not take that lightly. We need to consult extensively.
“We will be engaging fully with local people.”