New road and River Ness crossing opens to traffic

Image source, Barry MacFarlane
Image caption,
An aerial photograph of the new road and Highland Rugby Club's snow-covered pitch under floodlights

A new stretch of road and crossing of the River Ness has opened to traffic.

The road and Holm Mills Bridge form part of Highland Council's new West Link.

The local authority hopes the West Link will reduce city centre congestion and help to ease travel between the A9, A96 and A82.

A campaign opposed the construction of the West Link because it meant a loss of areas of green space.

Image source, Barry MacFarlane
Image caption,
The bridge and one of the new roundabouts on the new West Link

A new crossing of the Caledonian Canal is still to be constructed as part of the West Link project.

The new bridge over the River Ness was named following a public vote.

Holm Mills Bridge received the most votes in an online poll held on eight suggested titles for the crossing.

Image caption,
The new bridge will open to traffic on Monday

The name, which received 40,320 votes out of the 105,446 votes cast, recalls the manufacturing of fabric at mills in the area in the 18th Century.

Pupils from Inverness' Holm and Kinmylies primary schools have already crossed the bridge.

The schools are located on opposite sides of the river.

In an event last Monday, the pupils walked from either side of the bridge and met in the middle of the crossing.

There was an exchange of teddy bears and the children sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Image source, Barry MacFarlane
Image caption,
An aerial image of the new West Link and the recent snowfall in Inverness

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