Utsi’s Bridge

During the the Autumn and Winter of 2020 we took on our biggest bridge building contract to date, the replacement of Utsi’s Bridge. Named after the charismatic Sami, Mikel Utsi, who was responsible for reintroducing the reindeer to Scotland, this bridge gives access over the Allt Mor river to the Chalamain Gap. The first incarnation was replaced in 1979 by the Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities Officer Training Corps, as a summer engineering project, so was well in need of replacement. The site was in very difficult location  for a major build,  there was no chance of getting any machines down into the valley, so the entire project would need to be done by hand  and as it is in a sensitive area other considerations were also necessary. All of the new materials had to be airlifted in, and the old bridge airlifted out, and this had to be done outside of capercaillie breeding season, to prevent disturbance. The type C aerial mast design was to be raised 1.5m above the old line on Gabion baskets with upgraded stone pitched path accessing each side. The whole team did a fantastic job, working through rain, sleet, hail, high winds and snow. Not to mention the extra complications of an ongoing pandemic!

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