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Community reminded of Ellon Viaduct path closures

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council have been forced to remind the Ellon community that two short sections of the riverbank path directly under the town’s viaduct remain temporarily closed on safety grounds.

Following incidents of fallen masonry, a detailed inspection of the viaduct was carried out last year which confirmed the risk of further loss of brickwork from the undersides of the arches.

The council closed off access under the viaduct on both the north and south banks of the River Ythan with heras fencing and warning signs.

But a spokesman for the council said: "We have recently been made aware a path has been strimmed down the embankment from the south access point at Western Avenue, Meiklemill, extending into the closed section directly under the arch.

"Whilst this would not be an issue if the path clearly ended before the signage indicating the closed section, by continuing under the arch this serves to encourage public access.

"We must therefore request that access directly under the arches is not facilitated or encouraged by strimming.

"Barriers and signage will be inspected regularly to ensure the public remains aware of the ongoing risk of falling masonry."

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Planning and Environment, Paul Macari, said: “While strimming and maintenance of these informal paths has not been an issue historically, given the risk of falling masonry from the viaduct it is encouraging ongoing access which cannot be permitted.

“We are therefore urging those responsible for the strimming to stop facilitating access directly under the arches in the interests of public safety.”

Thanks to 100 per cent funding from Nestrans through the Scottish Government’s Regional Transport Active Travel Grant scheme, the council recently repaired the bridge deck drains and sealed the deck surface to prevent further water ingress.

The structure now has to dry out before the council can re-inspect the brickwork to confirm the extent of the repair works.

Access to the Formartine & Buchan Way across the top of viaduct remains open for walkers and cyclists to enjoy.

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