The project formed part of a £36.7 million investment on the A75 at Dunragit and Hardgrove, as well as the A77 at Symington and Bogend Toll. The Bypass, which opened early to road users at the end of March 2014, improved safety for road users by increasing the number of overtaking facilities in both east and westbound directions.
The project involved re-routing traffic away from the Challoch rail overbridge, which for many years had required high-sided vehicles to divert from the A75 onto the side road network. The overbridge had been subjected to a number of bridge strikes over the years, which had caused lengthy diversions and delays to journey times.
- improves journey time reliability by increasing the number of overtaking facilities in both directions and reducing driver frustration on the A75, which forms part of the Euro-route between Europe, Scotland and the UK, via ferry terminals at Cairnryan
- improves connectivity and makes Scotland a more attractive option for business, leisure and tourism
- improves safety and air quality for the Dunragit local community
- provides better pedestrian and cyclist safety with a shared pedestrian/cycleway
- HGV through traffic has been removed from Dunragit
- achieving good value for money
An exhibition was held in Dunragit Village Hall on 22 August 2006. The exhibition provided an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed scheme.
A number of mitigation measures were incorporated into the works, as identified in the Environmental Statement. These included:
- The excavation and recording of both known and new archaeological sites
- Ecological surveys and subsequent appropriate mitigation measures such as otter fencing and the construction of otter tunnels
- The containment and treatment of construction site and road surface water prior to discharge
Extensive archaeological surveys were undertaken prior to and during the works and significant finds dating back 9000 years were recorded. They finds included items from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages:
- A rare and complete 130-piece jet bead necklace dating to around 2000 BC – the first of its kind to be discovered in south west Scotland
- An Iron Age Village
- A Romano-British brooch
- A bronze Age cemetery complex
- Cremation urns
- Neolithic flint tools including a flint arrowhead, and over 13,500 Mesolithic flints
Following a programme of analysis of the excavation data, a report will be produced to describe and explain what has been discovered at the A75 Dunragit Bypass site. A decision will then be made on where the various collections will be stored and/or put on display.
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