|Location Map ( geo)|
Anyone who has ever driven the A85 through Glen Dochart will know the bridge at Coirechaorach, it's the one in the dip on the narrow bend between two wide, fast straights. It recently had temporary traffic signals on it whilst work was done to repair an abutment, but is now fully open again.
The name comes from the Allt Coire Chaorach, which the bridge spans. It is also the name of the ruined cottage sitting above the road, and probably hardly noticed these days, which is reputedly one of Rob Roys homes, or hideaways.
The New Bridge
However, knowing a bridge is there and knowing a bridge are two different things. The bridge is quite a substantial single concrete arch structure, spanning high above the fast flowing stream below. The bridge is faced with stone on both sides, although the amount of vegetation that has grown up around the bridge makes this almost unnecessary! Although a precise date for the bridge is unknown, it appears to date from the late 1930s. It is the north west abutment that has been repaired, after damage incurred in a storm in late 2011. The repair is an uncompromising concrete block in front of the damaged abutment, which has been piled to prevent any further undermining.
What no motorist is likely to have ever noticed is that the current bridges predecessor still stands, just a metre or two upstream of the current crossing. It is badly overgrown, with trees on the deck, and very low, crumbly parapets (or is that just the whole deck has filled up with soil?). The bridge is a single stone arch, albeit narrower and lower than its replacement, built of random rubble. Due to the amount of vegetation, even in winter, it is difficult to get a decent view of the bridge. However, it is known that the military road crossed by a ford further downstream, so this bridge is likely to be no earlier than Telford's reconstruction of the old Military road in the early 19th century.