|12th April 1979|
Cutting a dozen or more miles off the A9 route north, and bypassing towns such as Beauly, Muir of Ord and Dingwall, the Cromarty Bridge has significantly shortened the route north from Inverness. It was opened as part of major improvement works, which also saw a new stretch of road constructed across the Black Isle. Built in 1979, a couple of years ahead of the Kessock Bridge to the south, it did not immediately become the A9, and indeed the 1980 OS Landranger sheet (left) shows the road as being unclassified. Whilst maps from the intervening years show the road from Ardullie to North Kessock as an A road, it is not given a number.
The bridge is a concrete structure with 68 individual spans starting with a causeway section on the southern shore, and a much shorter embankment on the northern shore. The piers are paired under the deck, with the road, or at least the pavements, cantilevered out to either side. The whole structure is about a mile and a half long, terminating in a roundabout with the A862 on the north shore. Between October 2017 and March 2018 the entire bridge deck was re waterproofed and the road resurfaced with new barriers installed also.
Long before the bridge was built, indeed probably before cars became a common sight in this part of the country, there was a ferry crossing a few miles to the west from Dingwall to Alcaig. To the east there was also a ferry crossing the firth from Invergordon to Balblair on the Black Isle. There is also the still surviving Nigg Ferry at the entrance to the Cromarty Firth, but all other traffic would have needed to head inland to Conon Bridge.
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