Concerns over the impact heavy loads heading to and from the harbour are having on a Montrose bridge could result in it being reinforced.
Angus Council proposes to strengthen the Grade C listed Tayock Burn Bridge, on the Brechin Road, which is estimated will cost the local authority £35,000.
The bridge, which was built in the 18th century, is a single span masonry arch structure and can safely withstand normal highway loading. However, a survey revealed that the arch is not strong enough to support large vehicles carrying heavy goods going over it.
The authority plans to strengthen the arch by placing a structural concrete saddle over the stonework, which, according to a report, will not affect the stone, as there are no salts in the concrete.
The saddle will also act as a waterproof barrier and protect the sandstone from damaging salts and freeze-thaw action.
The two stone support piers under the arch for a timber flood gate to be propped on them would also be removed under the proposal, as they have not been in use since the early 1900s.
The piers encourage a heavy build up of silt beneath the bridge, which reduces its flood capacity of the structure.
By removing the piers, the flood capacity of the Tayock Bridge would increase by 24 per cent, reducing the risk of flooding of nearby properties caused by the water backing up from the bridge during storm surges, according to a report.
To restore the Tayock Bride to its original state, a large pipe, which runs through the arch of the bridge and is currently unused, would be removed and stonework reinstated in the arch using a similar stone and lime mortar, under the new plans as well.
The plan is being backed Montrose councillor David May.
He said: “I support the plans for the Tayock Bridge, as it seems there has been a build up of silt under the bridge, which reduces its flood capacity.
“The repair work will mean that the chance of water backing up during large storms surges, which seem to be more frequent these days than previously, will be lessened.
“The bridge has over many years been used by more and more heavy loads, as they leave our increasingly busy harbour, and the repair work will also strengthen the stone work and this should be welcomed.”