|Location Map ( geo)|
|1801-6, 1831-2, 1853, 1976|
The old bridge at Fochabers was originally built at the beginning of the 19th Century. It is often attributed to Thomas Telford, although the start date of 1801 which is normally quoted would appear to make it one of the earliest projects started as part of his Commission on Roads and Bridges in Scotland. Other records suggest that brothers George and John Burns were responsible for the bridge.
The original structure consisted of four masonry arches across the river and its flood plain, the two centre ones a little wider than the side arches. However, in 1829 a great flood washed away the western two arches, leaving only half a bridge. It appears to have taken two years for the bridge to be repaired, with a trestle structure bridging the gap as a temporary measure. This lasted for twenty years before the Iron arched span was installed to complete the river crossing.
At some point in the 20th Century, the bridge was widened. The original parapet removed and a new concrete deck laid on transverse steel I-beams to provide a roadway as wide as the original bridge, and cantilevered footways. The treatment to the Iron span was slightly different to prevent causing damage to the structure below. Finally, in the 1970s (?) the bridge was bypassed with the new bridge (below) constructed alongside.
The new bridge across the Spey was built just a little to the north of the old bridge, which makes it the road crossing closest to the river's mouth. The only bridge between here and the Moray Firth is the old Spey Viaduct, once carrying a railway line, now home to the Speyside Way and a Cycle Track.
The bridge is another of the functional concrete deck on steel girder structures, consisting of two spans. The central pier sits on the river's east bank, as with all Spey bridges, to allow for floodwater to pass without damaging the structure. The Town of Fochabers and its neighbour Mosstodloch now enjoy a bypass. However, this bypass still uses the new bridge to cross the Spey.