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Better late than never...

Just what dock ordered: Bo'ness councillors John and Harry Constable, and Beth Eaglesham, at the bridge

PLANS to re-open Bo'ness harbour received a significant boost this week when a new footbridge was installed.

Frontpage - Bo'ness Journal, by Allan Scott, 27.08.04.

Bridge of size!

The 20-metre long, two-metre wide, £20,000 structure, which weighs seven-and-a-half tonnes was hoisted into position on Monday after a couple of false starts.

A huge telescopic crane was brought on-site courtesy of Forsyth of Denny but when it tried to maneouvre the structure into place it was discovered that the bridge was facing the wrong way round.

A second attempt also failed due to soft ground but, after shoring up the suspect terrain, the steel and wood footbridge was swung into position.
The bridge is the most highly visible item in Falkirk Council's £140,000 plan to re-open the harbour to amateur sailors.

Financed by Falkirk Council and FV Enterprise

The cash has come from Falkirk Council and Forth Valley Enterprise and the work is being carried out by MacKenzie Construction.

Safety features

Also included are new lights, new mooring bollards and access ladders as well as a beacon to warn sailors of the presence of an underwater obstruction just outside the harbour.

Councillor John Constable, convener of the Bo'ness regeneration strategy working group, watched the contractors swing the footbridge into place on Monday.

Afterwards, he said: "Monday's activity was both significant and symbolic for Bo'ness.

" It is significant in that the bridge, which spans the dock gates, will make access much easier for sailors who would have had to walk all the way round the inner dock and back again to reach the town centre facilities.

" It is also symbolic of the desire of the current administration at Falkirk Council to assist in the economic regeneration of Bo'ness town centre."

Ambitious foreshore regeneration

The ambitious planned regeneration of the foreshore from Grangepans to Kinneil also includes works at the docks and will probably require the new bridge's replacement with a moveable structure to enable masted boats to gain access.

Councillor Constable added: "That's not to say that the bridge put in place this week cannot be re-used in another location in the district should it be required."

Raymond Quinn of harbour works engineers URS said the project would be completed within the next few weeks.

" There are a few things remaining to be done but work should progress fairly quickly now that the bridge is in place," he said.

Councillor Constable added that the contract had been carried out speedily and efficiently without interruptions through vandalism or theft.

Official Harbour Authority

Once the works are completed Falkirk Council will be recognised as the official authority for Bo'ness harbour. It will then be in a position to seek to have the harbour dredged to further improve facilities for sailors.

Falkirk Council is expected to name its parter in the foreshore regeneration scheme later in the autumn.

Up to 700 new houses

Bo'ness area forum heard on Thursday of last week that the scheme could include up to 700 new houses.

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