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Dalhousie Bridge

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Dalhousie Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Bonnyrigg
To:  Gorebridge
Highway Authority
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Arch Bridge
On road(s)
Looking across the bridge

Dalhousie Bridge carries the B704 over the River South Esk to the south of Bonnyrigg in Midlothian. It is a substantial, modern three-span concrete arch bridge built to a cantilever style where the central arch is supported by two half arches on either bank. The northern span crosses an estate road for Dalhousie Castle, which is actually the former alignment of the B704. The whole structure is built on a gentle curve as it crosses the valley. The substantial concrete piers stand on either bank, with the abutments set further back. The bridge structure itself rests on bearings at the tops of the piers, with shallow concrete arches spreading out. These carry a wide roadway with pavements to either side, which are partially cantilevered out beyond the face of the main structure, and metal railings as parapets. The abutments are built of stone, but the bridge sits on a different alignment to its predecessor, so these are almost certainly concrete within the facing stones.

The OS one inch map from 1965 intriguingly shows a gap in the road where the old bridge stood, and while the 1967 edition of the 1:10,000 sheet shows the old bridge still in place, the 1:2500 sheet from 1968 shows the new bridge, and the old bridge gone. This all suggests that the old bridge collapsed or was washed out in c1964, forcing the council to build the current structure. Today the new bridge is itself in need of replacement. For many years it has been restricted to a 7.5T weight limit, and the eastbound lane is coned off, with single lane running along the westbound lane controlled by traffic lights.

Old Bridge

The old bridge used to cross the river a little further upstream, and the western abutment can still be seen from the estate road noted above. Despite the suggestion that the bridge was destroyed, there seems to be very little information available about it. The surviving abutment strongly suggests that the bridge was a stone arch structure, perhaps with more than one arch to cross the river and banks. The western approach remains open as part of the castle drive, but the eastern approach appears to have been removed with the construction of the new bridge. An item in the Edinburgh Gazette from 1959 states that a 10T weight limit and 10mph speed limit have been imposed on the structure, not so very different from the current bridge today.

Dalhousie Bridge
Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
Dalhousie Bridge - Geograph - 3512077.jpgBridge over the South Esk, Dalhousie - Geograph - 4388215.jpg
Crossings of the Lothian River Esk, and Tributaries
River EskMusselburgh Bridge • Bridge • Musselburgh Bypass Bridge • Millerhill Bridge
River North EskMontagu Bridge • Lugton Bridge • Elginhaugh Bridge • Roslin Bridge • Wester Auchendinny Bridge • Telford Bridge
River South EskCow Bridge • Newmills Bridge • Newbattle Bridge • Lothianbridge • Dalhousie Bridge • Braidwood Bridge
Gore WaterShank Bridge

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