Hatton Bridge works near completion

Work in progress at Hatton Bridge
Work in progress at Hatton Bridge

Work to replace the temporary crossing in the Buchan village of Hatton is nearly complete.

A temporary footbridge was erected in the weeks after the December flooding which washed away the road bridge and cut off half of the village.

The permanent replacement will be opening in a matter of weeks according to Aberdeenshire Council.

A council spokesman told the Buchan Observer that work is scheduled to be completed at the end of September.

It is also projected that the work will be within the £150,000 budget allocated for the project.

A temporary road bridge was put up in April this year to allow residents of Hatton Farm Gardens to return home without making the previously necessary three-mile diversion.

This temporary structure will remain open until work is complete.

Work had been delayed dued to unavoidable complications with utility company equipment.

Local SNP councillor Stephen Smith said: “I’m glad that the works are nearing completion and we should see the new bridge being open to traffic in the next couple of weeks if things go to plan with the utility companies.

“In terms of the stage things are at currently, I think it 
completely vindicates the decision Cllr Pratt and myself 
made to push for a temporary bridge.

“Clearing away the remains of the old bridge and then designing and building a new bridge from scratch takes time and there is no way that people in Hatton could have put up with nine months of having two halves of the village cut off from each other.”
The severe flooding which destroyed the original Hatton Mill Bridge happened on December 22 last year.

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stuart Pratt added: “The new bridge looks good and once that opens the council can then start removing the temporary bridge and reinstating the ground.

“It does underline though that without the temporary bridge, we would have had over 200 properties relying on single track back-roads since last Christmas to get in and out of the village.

“I’m pleased that the council listened to the case put 
forward by Cllr Smith and myself on behalf of local residents to get temporary access in place.”

When the council’s temporary road and pedestrian 
crossing was put up it was expected it would take four months for a replacement to be constructed.

When it is completed, the temporary structure will then be completely removed and the ground reinstated to its original condition.

The work required to plan, design and deliver the permanent replacement has went in tandem with work to create the temporary structure.

Work to divert an exposed gas main was finished in March and the next stage was to divert the remaining utilities which still crossed the collapsed structure.

The remainder of the Hatton Mill Bridge was demolished and the site prepared for its replacement.

Residents had been forced to drive three miles on the Toll of Birness to Mintlaw road to get around the flooding.