A CONTRACTOR has been appointed to build the long-awaited new footbridge at Aberdour harbour.

The crossing was damaged beyond repair by floods during the storms of August 2020 and Realm Construction are about to start work on replacing it.

The Lochgelly firm submitted a successful bid for the contract, below Fife Council's revised budget of £325,000, and they hope to bridge the gap in July.

Convener of the South and West Fife area committee, Councillor David Barratt, said: "There have been a number of challenges associated with the project and lessons have been learned.

"Unfortunately the initial tender received exceeded the available budget which further contributed to long delays.

"Our teams have worked hard to bring the project back within budget.

“We would really like to thank residents and users of the path for their continued patience and look forward to enjoying the replacement footbridge once again on the coastline of Aberdour."

Work will take place in two phases.

Phase one will involve preparing the site and phase two, due to start early in July, will see the installation of the new timber bridge.

On his Facebook page Cllr Barratt added: "It has taken too long, it is costing too much and mistakes have been made, but I'll be glad to cross that bridge in July."

The old footbridge over the Dour Burn was around five metres in length and, last summer, the council set aside £405,000 to pay for a replacement.

However they only received one tender for the job which was "far in excess" of the available budget.

Back to the drawing board, in November councillors were told the budget had gone up to £500,000, with one council officer suggesting that, in hindsight, they may have thought twice before agreeing to build such an expensive replacement.

Addressing a "couple of errors" and switching from a fibre reinforced polmer bridge to a cheaper wooden structure helped the council reduce the cost with a revised budget of £325,000 set last month.

That led to Realm putting in a successful bid for the job.

The new footbridge will be more than seven metres long and the work includes putting in place a timber parapet, walkway and superstructure, pre-cast concrete abutments, reconstructed stone walls and rock armour protection.