Kessock Bridge works – end in sight
Peak time traffic management restrictions in place on the Kessock Bridge are due to be lifted by the end of June, Transport Scotland confirmed today.
The first phase of the £13.2m project to bring the bridge up to modern standards is almost complete and drivers should see all lanes re-opened to traffic again by the end of next month.
Improvements to junctions surrounding the bridge will have a long-term benefit for drivers, with faster access in and out of the city, while the state-of-the-art materials used will leave the community with a modern bridge which won’t require major works to the carriageway for another 30 years.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “This first phase of this major project is coming to an end and we would like to thank local residents and businesses for pulling together to ensure any disruption experienced by commuters was minimised.
“ Traffic Delays to and from Inverness during peak time averaged at 30 minutes, which is half of what was originally predicted. This was due, largely, to the fact that commuters followed advice and used other transport options – there were significantly less cars on the road at this time of day.
“Many aspects of the complex works being carried out on the bridge are sensitive to weather conditions and recent wet weather and high winds have had an impact on the programme.
“However, we have always stressed to the contractor that getting all lanes re-opened again was a priority and we are pleased that, barring further bad weather, this is due to happen by the end of June.”
Additional Stagecoach bus services between Inverness and the Black Isle have been well used and will therefore continue until the end of the summer, even after all lanes re-open on the bridge in June. Additional capacity on train services will remain in place until the end of June.
Some additional work on the bridge will be carried out in July but this will be done out-with peak times.
Andrew Gordon, Balfour Beatty’s Director of Operations for the Kessock Bridge refurbishment, said:
“We are satisfied with how the work on the northbound carriageway is progressing and expect to complete phase one by the end of June, as long as we are not exposed to any further weather delays which may impact on our activities. We appreciate that commuters and the local community have been extremely patient about this first phase of works and aim to provide a refurbished bridge that will serve them well into the future.”
The Kessock Bridge opened to traffic in 1982 and carries approximately 30,000 vehicles per day with 11% of these HGVs.
The works involve removing the existing road surface, repairing defects to the bridge steel deck plate, applying waterproofing to the bridge steel deck plate and resurfacing both carriageways. Contractors are also replaceing the bridge deck expansion joints, the lighting columns, the vehicle safety barriers and resurfaceing the footways and cycle-ways. This work is being carried out in two phase with the second phase programmed to start in February 2014.
Motorists driving in and around Inverness can access up to the minute journey time information at www.trafficscotland.org. Further journey planning information is also available on Twitter and via the Travelline Scotland/Transport Scotland travel app.