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Kessock Bridge
Beauly Firth, Inverness, Highland
associated engineer
Crouch & Hogg
Ove Arup & Partners
date  1978 - 1982
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NH665475
ICE reference number  HEW 2536
This kilometre-long bridge over the estuary of the River Ness was, at the time of construction, the largest cable-stayed bridge in Europe and the only bridge of its type in Britain. Its design is said to have been modelled on the Rees Bridge over the Rhine at Dusseldorf in Germany.
Kessock Bridge carries the A9, linking the body of the Highlands to the north and west and replacing the ferries which, in one form or another, provided crossing since as early as 1400. It was designed by Dr Helmut Homberg in association with Cleveland Bridge & Engineering for the Scottish Development Department. The tender sum was 17.24m.
The bridge's navigation span is 239.9m and is supported by groups of eight spiral-strand steel cables up to a metre in diameter in a harp arrangement. They are suspended from two sets of steel towers that rise 40m above the bridge's deck, founded on piles driven 60m into the seabed. The water at this point is about 12m deep.
The steel superstructure is continuous over the supports. Its open cross-section consists of 40.3m deep plate girders supporting an orthtropic steel deck, that is it has been stiffened to take the required vehicular loads efficiently but also contributes to the structural integrity of the whole bridge..
Designed to withstand wild waters and winds of up to 99mph, the bridge also needs to accommodate potential movement of the Great Glen fault in its northern abutment. This has been achieved by the addition of two 400 tonne hydraulic buffers.
The view from the deck is spectacular and incorporates the Black Isle, Moray coast and Loch Ness.
Designer: Dr Helmut Homberg
Steel contractors: Cleveland Bridge & Engineering
Foundation and concrete contractor: RDL Contracting Ltd
reference sources   CEH SHIHighBr

Kessock Bridge