|Location Map ( geo)|
|1796, 1828, 1930, 2004|
|Crossings related to the A92|
Montrose Bridge, also known as New Bridge, spans the outflow of Montrose Basin at the southern end of the town. The bridge we see today is actually at least the third to span the channel, and perhaps the least interesting.
The title New Bridge actually refers to the bridge opened in 1930, and designed by Owen Williams. Built of reinforced concrete, and supported by two pairs of piers in the channel, the bridge resembled a concrete suspension bridge. However, whilst the reinforcement within the concrete resembled the chains used in suspension bridges, the bridge was in fact a double cantilever bridge. The bridge was built on the site of its predecessor, indeed reusing the approaches and abutments. It carried a wide roadway and pavements on both sides, but unfortunately time and the weather took their toll, forcing the bridge to be replaced again in 2004.
The first bridge, however, was constructed back in 1796 and was built predominantly of timber. Stone abutments on either bank led to a single stone arch at each end of the bridge. Between them were 14 spans of a timber trestle design, the one at the town end being a lifting span to allow shipping to enter the vast natural Montrose Harbour. This bridge was replaced by a suspension bridge in 1828, which did away with a lifting span. It seems possible, however, that the pier footings for the stone arches were re-used to mount the stone piers over which the suspension cables passed. The arches themselves were removed, as the roadway appears to have been lower than before. This bridge partially failed twice in the first decade, but then survived until modern traffic volumes necessitated a larger, stronger replacement in 1930.
The New New Bridge
The current bridge was built in 2004 to replace Owen Williams' structure. It is a rather mundane three-span steel girder bridge carrying an S2 carriageway with pavements on both sides. The parapets are clad in stone on the approaches, but raw concrete topped with stainless steel rails on the actual bridge.
The most remarkable thing about the new bridge is that it has, yet again, been built between the original abutments. The paired piers may be those inserted by Williams reclad, or may be new. The bridge was constructed whilst traffic was diverted onto a parallel temporary crossing.