K. Calder Bridge

oldCalderBridgeThe original Calder Bridge was designed by Thomas Telford for the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges as part of the new road from Kingussie to Fort William which opened in 1818.

It was partly funded by local landowners - the Duke of Gordon, Mackintosh of Mackintosh and Cluny Macpherson - and opened in 1814. The Telford bridge was an arch 32 feet (9.8m) tall with a span of 50 feet (15.2m).

After standing for more than 160 years, part of the old bridge was washed away when the River Calder was in flood on 15 November 1978. Local resident Rob Ritchie crossed the bridge shortly before and heard boulders being washed down the river in the floodwater. The damage was such that the rest of the A-listed bridge had to be demolished. It is a tribute to its builders that it took three explosions to bring down the bridge. What little remains of the old bridge can be seen upstream.

CalderBridgeA temporary Bailey bridge was used until the present bridge opened in 1982. It was designed by Highland Regional Council's Department of Roads and Transport.

Sources:

George Dixon
Local residents
T. Ruddock (1979) Arch Bridges and their Builders 1735-1835.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/165469/details/newtonmore+bridge/
Strathspey and Badenoch Herald

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