HIE is leading the development of the campus and has commissioned Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd to build the new bridge.
The contract forms part of the overall £2.7m cost of the project. HIE is providing the bulk of the funding, with an additional £856,000 from the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme.
Contractors are expected on site by the end of the year, with the bridge completed in summer 2019. It will cross the main Inverness-Perth railway line and enable access for pedestrians, cyclists and buses to and from the east of the city, avoiding the Raigmore interchange.
This will be the second bridge linking Inverness Campus with the retail park. The existing Drumrosach bridge at the south end of the site is a popular route used by around 2,000 pedestrians and cyclists a week.
The contract award marks another milestone in the development of Inverness Campus, which was opened in 2015 by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE’s project director for Inverness Campus, said:
“This is about improving access to and from Inverness Campus by extending the low-carbon travel options that have formed part of the development from the outset.
“It will provide better links between the retail and business park, the campus and other parts of the city, providing alternatives to car use by creating new public transport routes and encouraging active travel. The bridge will also provide the ‘missing link’ in east/west walking and cycle routes across the city.
“Thanks to the additional funding provided by the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links scheme, we are now able to award this contract and look forward to having the bridge in place within the next year.”
Dave Keane, community links manager for Sustrans Scotland, said:
“We are very excited to see the new campus bridge take its next step towards opening. The South Campus Bridge has had a really positive effect for people travelling to and from the campus, with more than 1,400 people using it every week. The new bridge will make it even easier for people to travel on foot or by bike.”
Wills Bros director, Jonathan Wills, said:
“We are delighted to be awarded this contract and very much look forward to completing the new bridge, which will have lasting community benefits for many years.”