THERE'S concern that the delayed £10 million replacement bridge in Cardenden may not be in place for another five years.

Having been delighted last month that funding has been secured for the new crossing over the Den Burn, which will help tackle flooding problems in the village, Councillor Rosemary Liewald is worried about the timescale.

At the cabinet committee last week, an update report on the capital plan said the project was at the 'preparatory' stage.

Cllr Liewald said: "We recently heard that the work for the Den Burn Bridge is projected to be 2025-26 but here I'm seeing the expected project completion date is 2028-29?

"That seems an incredibly long length of time for a piece of work.

"I need some clarity on that."

The budget for the bridge on Cardenden Road is £10.7m and the replacement is needed as the council discovered the current structure does not allow enough water to flow under it.

This was a “significant contributor” in the burn bursting its banks during the torrential rain and storms of August 2020 when the village suffered severe flooding and some folk "lost everything".

Central Fife Times: Floodwater poured through Cardenden and the burn burst its banks following the storms and torrential rain of August 2020. Floodwater poured through Cardenden and the burn burst its banks following the storms and torrential rain of August 2020. (Image: Newsquest)

Head of finance, Elaine Muir, said: "We do assess the timings and the timing you see in the document will be in line with what was agreed in the capital plan but if we are, operationally, working to different timescales I will make sure that we pick that up.

"It is still at the preparatory stage which would indicate it's still some way off but in terms of operational detail I will need to confirm that for you."

Cllr Liewald said: "I'd be glad to hear more on that."

Initially there were plans to strengthen, rather than replace, the bridge but they were scrapped in October 2020. At that time, local residents were told the work would start in 2024. 

There are 30 major projects - those that cost £5m and over - in the council's capital plan which has a budget of almost £1.2 billion.

It includes £213m for the Dunfermline Learning Campus and a replacement for Inverkeithing High School.

There is 'slippage' of more than £18m in this year's programme but 94 per cent of investment should still be delivered.

Ms Muir said there is a "relatively small" projected overspend of £463,000 on the Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre project, which hasn't started yet.

It's due to close in April for 14 months as part of a major £8m refurbishment that will also see the library relocate from High Street and into the centre.

However she said the shortfall would be met from the "energy management revolving fund" and the overspend would be eliminated once budgets are set.