|Location Map ( geo)|
|1814, 1828, 1913, 1985|
Although this is the third bridge to cross the River Spey, it is the first time that a classified road makes the crossing. Such is the power of the Spey, even so close to its source, that this is the fifth bridge known to have spanned the river at this location in 200 years.
Thomas Telford's Laggan Road was built between 1811 and 1818 along the course now roughly followed by the A86. In 1814 work was completed on the only major bridge along the route - the crossing of the Spey at Laggan. It is described as having been built on the site of a previous bridge. The bridge was designed by Telford, and constructed by the contractor Donald Clark. It was built of stone and had two spans, one a 40foot arch and the other a 50foot arch.
Sadly, it didn't survive too long, as it was washed away in a flood in November 1825. Three years later, a new bridge was built, using repaired abutments. This time, to reduce the chance of flood damage, a single 100foot span Timber bridge was utilised, with triangulated bracing under the deck locking into the cast Iron shoes installed in the abutments. These can still be seen alongside the current bridge.
In 1913, the Timber bridge was beginning to show its age, so a new Steel Bowstring bridge was designed, providing a wider deck. This bridge remained in place until the current bridge was built, at which point it was dismantled, leaving the old abutments in place. The one on the Laggan Village side is now a small picnic site.
The current bridge was built in 1985 by the Highland Council as part of major improvement works along the A86 corridor. Sadly, the section either side of the bridge is the only real improvements this far east, although the works carried out at the western end of the road were originally intended to have been carried through. The bridge is a fairly typical 1980s Concrete deck with massive steel beams spanning the river in one go. The concrete abutments are substantial, and retain the 100ft clear span of the former bridge to minimise the risk of flood damage.