On Friday 12 July 2013, a new footbridge, commissioned by the Auchencairn Initiative, was transported from Paterson Engineering Ltd’s premises in Dalbeattie to site in the centre of Auchencairn.
The bridge, joins the two halves of the village across the Hass Burn and enables residents from the North West side of the village to cross to the Post Office and Shop on the village’s Main Street without using the main road (A711) creating a safer route, in particular for children and a shorter route for the less able-bodied.
The Bridge is be named after Mr David Dunstan, a founder member of the Auchencairn Initiative and the impetus behind its design. He was also the project leader for the Post Office and Shop construction 5 years ago. Mr Dunstan died suddenly in October 2012.
Built with funding from D & G Council, the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme and The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation the bridge is 11.0m long and 2.00m wide and weighs 3.75 tonnes. It is of all galvanised steel construction and finished with a timber deck and the same paint used on the Forth Bridge, which has a guarantee of 25 years before needing repainting.
Pathways and steps leading to the bridge and a DDA compliant ramp have also been included and were constructed by David Hardie Engineering in Dumfries.
The field the bridge crosses is owned by the Auchencairn Initiative in trust for the Village and contains at present 6 allotments. The Japanese Knotweed endemic in part of the field is undergoing chemical removal and the remainder of the Field will be laid out for the Village enjoyment.
The Auchencairn Initiative is a Limited Company with Charitable status set up in 2003 to “promote the benefits of the villagers of Auchencairn” and has to date provided a bird hide, a local boardwalk and path around the head of Auchencairn Bay, a play park, the Post Office, Shop, Enterprise Centre and 3 bedroom flat. The Directors are all unpaid volunteers.
Further reading is available on The Commonty Website