Keith Brown unveils new addition to £24m A82 bridge programme

The new £1.8m bridge at Allt Chonoglais, which crosses the River Kinglass just south of Bridge of Orchy, is now open to traffic and has been built to meet modern standards and help future proof the A82 trunk road through the north west of Scotland.

Transport Minister Keith Brown, who today witnessed the final stages of the project with the removal of the temporary bridge using a 750 tonne crane said:

“I’m delighted that this fourth bridge in the Scottish Government’s £24 million programme to upgrade road bridges along the A82 is now in place.

"Allt Chonoglais is a remarkable structure and its design has allowed features from the original 1932 bridge, including locally sourced granite, to have been retained on the new 40m span bridge. The design has also ensured we have met the demands of modern day traffic on the A82 without the need to make changes that would impact on the habitat of the riverbank below, including retaining the original bridge supports.

“The final stage of the scheme, which has been delivered on budget and ahead of schedule, underlines the significant engineering challenge faced during the bridge build, with a 750 tonne crane used to lift the temporary bridge away in sections.

“More widely we are demonstrating our commitment to roads that are vital to supporting communities and businesses along the A82. We are making good progress on work on the A82 at Pulpit Rock with works well under way on this £9.2 million road widening scheme, and the £5 million Crianlarich bypass is well advanced with a contractor appointed and work due to start later this month.

"And on the A83, we announced only last week that the operation and maintenance for the 51 km section of A83 between Campbeltown and Kennacraig will be handed over from Argyll and Bute Council to Transport Scotland ensuring more effective route management.

“These improvements, underscored with the completion of the new Allt Chonoglais bridge reinforces our long term commitment to road users across the north west, and I look forward very much to seeing more work completed in the coming months in meeting our aspiration.”

Images on Mr Brown on site overseeing the bridge lift are available on request. Contact Peter Devlin on, 07786- 808989.

Notes to editors

1. The current A82 route across Rannoch Moor and Glencoe was widened in the 1930’s and the current bridges date from that time. The bridges from Glen Orchy to Glencoe Village were assessed for an increase in loading to 40/44 Tonne under the national bridge assessment programme. 11 bridges were found to be in need of repair and strengthening and a programme to strengthen or replace the structures was developed.

2. Bridge works completed in the programme so far:

Lairig Eilde, the largest bridge in the programme, is located at narrow gorge entrance to Glencoe by the Lairig Eilde Falls. This had a limited load capacity of 7.5 tonnes and was in poor condition and beyond repair. It was the first significant bridge replacement scheme on the route for 10 years It was undertaken by BAM Nuttall Ltd and opened to traffic in March 2007 at a cost of £5.8m.

Achnambeithach Bridge in Glencoe, located opposite the turning for Clachaig Inn, near to Glencoe Village. The contract was undertaken by Morrison Construction Ltd and opened to Traffic in Dec 2008 at a cost of £3.2m.

Ba Bridge is located at Loch Ba on Rannoch Moor. The Contract was awarded to R J McLeod in Nov 2009 with completion in December 2010 at a cost of £2.2m.

In September 2010 the refurbishment, strengthening and widening of A82 Stuckindroin Bridge, near Ardlui was successfully completed at a cost of £1.1m by ERDC ltd, along with re-alignment of the road approaches to accommodate future traffic and ease maintenance.

The £1.8m Allt Chonoglais Bridge, near Bridge of Orchy- a 52 week contract was awarded to Morrison Construction Ltd in July 2012 and started on site on 22 August 2012. The innovative use of a 2 way temporary bridge has been used on this scheme, thus doing away with the need for traffic lights and one way working and although a 30 mph limit has been imposed through the works area there have been virtually no delays and disruption to the travelling public. The scheme has been delivered a week ahead of schedule and on budget.

3. The estimated cost of the remaining programme which include replacements for Allt Mollach, Allt Na Guibhas and Allt Fiodhan, is over £10m from 2013 to 2017, with over £14m having been spent to date.

4. The A83 between Campbeltown-Kennacraig is a 51km stretch of single carriageway road which carries approximately 2000-2500 vehicles per day and is currently the responsibility of Argyll and Bute Council.

Published 4 Sep 2013