A new bridge that will ensure local communities in Falkirk are linked for decades to come has opened to the public.
The installation of the new £350,000 Dorrator Bridge has now been completed to replace the original historic swing bridge crossing, which opened in 1893 and had reached the end of its life span. One of the finials from the original swing bridge will be retained to commemorate the memory of the historic bridge.
The distinct lime green structure of the new bridge will provide improved accessibility and increased opportunities for active travel by both foot and bicycle by offering a high quality north to south connection for pedestrians and cyclists.
Falkirk Council developed the project in partnership with Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) and Communities Along The Carron Association, with the aim of improving connectivity for local residents to recreational and health facilities, public transport, educational establishments, places of work and greenspace areas such as The HELIX.
The construction of the new bridge is part of a wider programme of infrastructure improvement works addressing the most significant missing links in the six mile long Carron Loop path network which connects the communities of Larbert, Stenhousemuir, Camelon, Mungal and Bainsford.
A 700 metre path network, designed by CSGNT, has also been created to complement the bridge, with a 130 metre long raised walkway linking Camelon Playing Fields to a recently constructed path through Camelon Cemetery.
The new Dorrator Bridge and improved access routes cost a total of around £580,000 to complete and were funded by Falkirk Council, Sustrans Scotland, Developer Contributions and Falkirk Environment Trust.
Councillor Dr Craig R Martin, spokesperson for the Environment at Falkirk Council, said: “The new bridge and path network will bring real benefits for the communities around the Carron with improved access to walking and cycling facilities. There are also excellent links to the wider path network which now connects a number of local communities while also opening up access to greenspace including the Helix.”
Michael Ewart, Development Officer at Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said: “The CSGNT supports a wide range of environmental access enhancements across the central belt. This high quality bridge and path network offers a range of health, societal, economic and environmental benefits by providing local communities with more opportunities for active travel, recreation and access to areas of employment, and it’s fantastic to see the project now complete.”
Paul Downie, Community Links Project Officer at Sustrans, said: “The completion of this project opens up a number of opportunities for individuals to travel actively on a safe traffic-free route. The high quality path will be welcomed by walkers and cyclists alike and will be well used by the local community. The new bridge looks fantastic and we look forward to working with the team at Central Scotland Green Network Trust on phase two of this project and many more.”