Daytime restrictions lifted on Kessock Bridge five weeks early

Transport Minister Keith Brown helped lift the traffic management this morning and all lanes of the crossing are now opened to traffic during the day. As a result, tens of thousands of commuters in the Inverness area can look forward to faster journeys to and from the city centre.

The project has seen the bridge completely refurbished with a new resilient, state of the art road surface that should stay repair free for thirty years. Safety barriers have also been replaced in the central reserve and footways. The bridge deck expansion joints replaced and the main bridge cables re-tensioned.

Facilities for pedestrians and cyclists have also been upgraded. The footway/cycleway path has been resurfaced using the same material as the carriageway and the parapet rails have also been improved.

With the majority of the work now completed, the team will move to night-time working to finish the remainder of the contract. These works will be carried out during off-peak hours, avoiding peak time traffic congestion.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“This is one of the largest trunk road bridge maintenance projects ever undertaken in Scotland and I am pleased to see it moving ahead at great pace with the daytime restrictions lifted five weeks ahead of schedule.

“Inverness deserves top class transport links and that is what the Scottish Government is delivering. Overall we have spent more than £15 million on the refurbishment of the bridge and the other infrastructure improvements associated with the project.

“These include local junction improvements on the A9 and A82 at Longman Roundabout, the construction and re-opening of Conon Bridge Railway Station and the extension of the car park at Beauly Station.

“I would like to thank the travelling public for their patience and support during this complex project. They have made a real effort to be flexible with their travel plans and have helped keep delays down to less than expected. Some of them have entirely changed the way they travel by cycling or using public transport, and I hope some of those recent habits continue. I know that there has been some frustration but I hope that it will be worthwhile to have a bridge fit for the 21st century for our Highland capital.”

Council Leader Cllr Drew Hendry said:

“I am delighted that the works are being completed ahead of schedule. The travelling public are due our thanks for their patience during the two periods of resurfacing. Many will recognise the long term benefits of the investment.

“The major investment in the Kessock Bridge over the past two years is hugely welcome in the Highlands. This is a big success story for our very special area."

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s representative for the North West Unit said:

“The whole team has worked extremely hard to deliver this excellent job ahead of schedule. We’ve taken the opportunity to use one of the most innovative products available. This is the first time that this surface, Gussasphalt, has been used in Scotland and its unique properties mean that the road surface should remain repair free for the next thirty years. The installation of the new safety barriers is also a first for Scotland.”

George Hood, Managing Director for Balfour Beatty North Scotland, said:

“Balfour Beatty is delighted to be in a position to reopen the southbound carriageway of the Kessock Bridge to daytime traffic some five weeks ahead of schedule. This achievement of completing complex works, often during challenging weather conditions, is a testament to the hard work of our project team and supply chain and to the positive working relationship established between Transport Scotland, BEAR and Balfour Beatty. We would once again like to thank commuters and the local community for their patience during these essential works.”

Notes to editors

Transport Scotland Press Office: Caroline Trainer on 07837 062787

Published 20 May 2014