A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan preferred route chosen
Following an engineering, environmental, economic and traffic assessment of three proposed options, the on-line option is to be taken forward to preferred route stage.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“The stretch of the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan presents many complex engineering challenges, being situated between Loch Lomond and the West Highland rail line. This makes our task in improving the road here road all the more difficult.
“Any future upgrade must fit with the area’s outstanding landscape and environment and help maintain the renowned beauty of the National Park.
“Following detailed assessment work, which considered a range of options, we are now able to confirm that any future upgrade of the route will be within the existing road corridor.
“We will now further develop our plans in more detail with a view to identifying a preferred route by spring next year. This work will include the necessary assessment of how best to construct the improvements.
“The work we are doing along this vital route that connects the Highlands and Islands with the central belt will lead to improved road safety and journey time reliability and meet the needs of business, communities and visitors alike.”
A joint venture of CH2MHILL and Fairhurst was appointed in June 2013 to progress DMRB stages 1 and 2 of the design process. Stage 1 to identify a preferred corridor is now complete. Stage 2 to identify a preferred route within that corridor is being progressed and is programmed to be complete March 2015.
DMRB Stage 1 Assessment
1. The three route corridor options assessed in detail at DMRB Stage 1 can be summarised as follows:
(i) Option 1 – Existing A82 Corridor (Tarbet to Inverarnan) - On-line improvement of the existing A82 alignment.
(ii) Option 2 – Arrochar to Inveruglas to Inverarnan - New off-line road from Arrochar to Inveruglas, connecting into the Option 1 alignment from Inveruglas to Invernanan.
(iii) Option 3 –Tarbet to Geal Loch to Inverarnan - New high level off-line road located west of the West Highland Railway line, and the existing A82 alignment.
2. Based on the outcome of the engineering, environmental, and economic and traffic assessments of each of the above options, it is considered that Route Corridor 1 (the on-line option) offers the greater benefits.
3. Other options, such as a straight line tunnel through the hillside or a submerged tunnel in the loch were considered, but were sifted out at an early stage because they failed to meet scheme Objectives.
4. Further information on the study can be found at: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/a82-tarbet-inverarnan-upgrade
5. Work is already underway on two important schemes on the A82, the Crianlarich Bypass and major improvements at Pulpit Rock.