Councillor Eric Holford informed us of the devastating news as the Gazette went to press this week.
Eric has been told that the bridge project is too expensive to take forward and the council will not be looking at it again until the autumn, at the earliest.
In an email to Eric, a council official told him: “Regretfully, as it stands, the available funding is significantly and substantially lower than the tender prices submitted and, at this stage, the project is not affordable or viable.
"Following significant deliberation, it will therefore not be possible to award the contract as there is insufficient funding available.
“However, it is the intention to complete the land acquisition and over the next month or so ask those who tendered [for the contract] to reprice their submissions.”
The bridge was closed to traffic in August 2018 so the news has come as a body blow to people living in Pettinain and Carstairs, the villages which the bridge adjoins, as well as those who use it to access Carstairs station.
Summing up the feelings of local residents, Eric said: “I am shocked and appalled by this news and rest assured I will not let it drop.
“The cost of construction is now estimated to be double the available funds. I have repeatedly warned about this but was also assured, over
and over, that this wouldn’t happen. Three years of promises have been betrayed in one email.”
The council budgeted £3.5 million for the project but it is expected to cost £7 million.