Rock Blasting at A9 Berriedale Braes
During the summer, the contractor made good progress in removing the majority of rock required to permit construction of the new road using conventional methods and will now carry out three blasts to remove the final seam of harder rock.
The conventional methods to remove the rock included dozing, ripping and pecking to minimise disturbance to the nearby coastal bird colony during breeding season. The project ecologist has confirmed that all of the fulmars that were nesting have left the area, giving the green light for the contractor to blast the final areas of harder rock.
The local community and road users should be aware that the contractor will carry out one rock blast between 2 PM and 4 PM on the following days:
• Tuesday 24 September 2019
• Thursday 3 October 2019
• Tuesday 15 October 2019
This work is expected to cause minimal disruption, however, to ensure the safety of the public the Contractor will be implementing the following procedures:
• Traffic on the A9 will be held either side of the proposed rock blasting works for a period no longer than 15 minutes to ensure the safety of road users during and after each blast
• Once the blast has gone off a site safety vehicle will travel this section of the A9 and ensure that the road remains free from debris and safe for operation. On confirmation that the road is clear, traffic will be permitted to continue along the A9
• Prior to and immediately after the blast, access to the blasting area will be restricted to authorised site staff only
• Sentries will be positioned on all access routes and other locations to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic access to maintain a safe working area.
Kevin Knox, Project Manager, Transport Scotland said:
“The blasting work to remove the final seam of harder rock will see our contractor complete this phase of the work allowing them to continue the construction of the new road.
This is a key construction stage to removing the hairpin bend at Berriedale Braes.
The temporary measures being put in place for the blasting work are precautionary to ensure the health and safety of the public. The contractor will endeavour to carry out this work as efficiently as possible to minimise the delay and we would ask for the cooperation of the public during this time.”
This work will go ahead unless particularly adverse weather is anticipated.