FIFE'S £7m Bridge Strengthening Programme was approved by members of the Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, on Thursday and the plan includes significant work to one of Cowdenbeath's important links.

The committee approved the timetable and list of priority capital projects forming the Fife Bridge Strengthening Programme until 2023 and one of the bridges to be improved is the Broad Street rail bridge which is a key link on the B981 between Cowdenbeath and Crossgates.

The sum of £3.15m is to be invested in the upgrading project.

Road bridges and structures form a crucial part of Fife’s road network, and are vital in supporting the local economy.

In total five major projects are set to be delivered over the four-year planning period: B981 Broad Street Railway Bridge (£3.15m), A91 New Bridge, Guardbridge (£1.1m), A955 Leven Railway Bridge & Bawbee Bridge (£2.1m) and A907 Lyne Burn Bridge (1.0m)

Cllr Altany Craik, committee convener said: “The overall condition of Fife’s road structures is good, and to support our roads network, bridge strengthening and maintenance work needs sustained investment.

“Bridge works are expensive and are vital to maintaining our roads infrastructure.

"Targeted investment in maintenance work is necessary to keep our bridges safe for use, fit for purpose and to minimise restrictions on Fife’s road network.”

Fife Council maintains 443 bridges and 283 retaining walls, with a total replacement value of around £387m. Investment is prioritised on a Fife wide basis, on the basis of need.

Work to strengthen bridges typically includes: the high cost of diverting public utilities to facilitate bridge works, accommodating local residents, businesses and landowners, environmental factors that can restrict working months, planning requirements, such as obtaining listed building consent and maintaining the continued operation of the road network during works, for example by using temporary bridges or alternative access routes.