40 years of the Kessock Bridge

Kessock construction viiii

A series of archive photos have been released to mark the 40th anniversary of the Kessock Bridge.

The iconic crossing over the Beauly Firth was formally opened by the Queen Mother on Friday 6th August 1982.

Measuring 1056 metres in length, the link between Inverness and the Black Isle took around four years to build at a cost of around £25m – which is the equivalent of over £100m today.

The harp type cable-stayed crossing was an ambitious project incorporating seismic buffers to mitigate any movement in the Great Glen Fault. It was given a Saltire Society civil engineering award in 1983 and listed as a Category B structure in 2019, recognising the bridge’s unique architectural and technical features.

Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said:

“The Kessock Bridge has become an iconic part of Scotland’s road network, with 335 million vehicles estimated to have used it over the past 40 years.

“The crossing has not only helped to cut journey times but it has also been recognised for its technical and architectural merits, so it’s fitting that we mark its four decades of service.

“The Scottish Government will invest 33m in the years ahead to make sure the Kessock Bridge continues to play a vital role in the future.”

The Scottish Roads Archive, in partnership with Transport Scotland have released a series of archive photos showing the construction and early days of the Kessock Bridge.

Stuart Baird from the Scottish Roads Archive said:

“The Kessock Bridge has become a much loved landmark both in Inverness and across the north of Scotland. Forty years on, it remains an impressive feat of civil engineering and one of the country’s most recognisable crossings.

“The Scottish Roads Archive is delighted to have unearthed previously unseen photos of its construction and we look forward to sharing them, and a few other surprises, on our website and social media channels.”

BEAR Scotland is responsible for the day-to-day management and maintenance of the Kessock Bridge on behalf of Transport Scotland.

Eddie Ross from BEAR Scotland added:

“We’re extremely proud to be the custodians of this iconic Scottish structure. We’ve been responsible for an extensive maintenance and refurbishment programme since 2013 and the continuation of this, with major investment from Transport Scotland, will ensure the bridge operates effectively for many years to come.”

Published 4 Aug 2022