Viaduct investigations and strengthening proposals
Specialist engineering consultancy COWI was appointed to carry out detailed investigations of the viaduct supporting the 1.8km Cairngorm funicular in 2018-19.
COWI’s first report, in December 2018, identified failings in different parts of the viaduct, including foundations, piers and beams. Bearings also appeared to be overloaded, with some significantly displaced and sliding beyond their limits. The 2018 report was peer-reviewed in line with best practice.
An addendum to COWI’s first report was delivered to HIE In April 2019 and a further scope of works was agreed to develop a concept strengthening scheme.
In June 2019, COWI delivered a viaduct strengthening report, comprising outline proposals to support HIE in preparing a costed programme for remedial works to allow the funicular service to operate safely again, subject to planning consent and business case approval. As such, the report includes some design details and preliminary cost estimates that were subsequently revised and superseded as further information was gathered and more detailed plans were developed.