Could the residents of Bernera finally be able to receive heavy deliveries, including fuel to the island?

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has submitted a planning application for the replacement of Bernera Bridge, Isle of Lewis, which closed to vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes in August after inspections of the structure uncovered serious problems.

By Peter Urpeth
Monday, 23rd November 2020, 5:28 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd November 2020, 5:30 pm
Artists impression Bernera Bridge
Artists impression Bernera Bridge

The authority subsequently ear-marked a fund of £2 million for the replacement. 

The new bridge, if approved, will be a 100m clear span modular trussed structure. which will be constructed to the east of the existing bridge, with the existing road being realigned to the new structure. 

A report with the planning application states that the new bridge members will be delivered using articulated vehicles and assembled on site using cranes and tele-handlers, with the completed steel structure being launched out across the channel on temporary supports using a winch system. 

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The new bridge will, the report confirms, have a 40t load capacity and the overall width of the new structure will be 8ms, with a height of 4.5m.

The structure shall accommodate one lane of traffic and a walkway just over a metre wide.

Clearance from high water shall be marginally increased from the existing structure. 

The design life span of the new structure is expected to be 30 years until its first major maintenance, the Comhairle’s report confirms.