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Torrish Bridge

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Torrish Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Helmsdale
To:  Kildonan
Highway Authority
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Arch Bridge
Engineer:  Joseph Mitchell
On road(s)
Crossings related to the A897
The old bridge

Torrish Bridge carries the A897 across the small Torrish Burn in the Strath of Kildonan. It is unusual in being one of the very few stretches of S2 carriageway on the whole route, the new bridge apparently being built wider in anticipation of more general widening of the A897 which has not yet happened. The structure is really more a very large culvert than a bridge, with a large pipe section carrying the burn through the road embankment. This structure is relatively modern, certainly post dating 1972, although modern OS mapping doesn't depict the old bridge, making it difficult to identify when it was built.

The old bridge spans the burn a short distance upstream, to the north, and is built into the side of the hill. It is a single span stone arch structure which carried a single track roadway, which is still passable on foot, although inadvisable in a car. The parapet facing downstream has started to crumble, but the upstream side is complete and shows the stonework curving down to the ground at either end in a style favoured by Thomas Telford. This bridge is highly unlikely to be attributable to Telford, however, and was almost certainly built by his former assistant, Joseph Mitchell, who served as surveyor for the County of Sutherland for many years. Unlike Telford's bridges, which used battered abutments, this bridge has plain facings, which curve with the road between the high banks of the burn.

Torrish Bridge
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