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
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
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
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.