The improvements will allow the lay-by to be fully re-opened to traffic and ensure its long term durability. A feasibility study is underway to determine the best solution.
In Autumn 2011 Transport Scotland re-opened an 80 metre stretch of the Wellington lay-by on the A82(T) at Allt Cumhang, to the southwest of Inverness.
The lay-by was initially closed after ongoing deterioration of the retaining wall.
The re-opening to traffic follows a period of monitoring works carried out in Spring 2011 to stabilise and repair a section of retaining wall at the north end of the lay-by. The newly re-opened section connects with a short section of the lay-by that had previously be reopened to the public following earlier remedial works in Autumn 2010.
The lay-by is also a site of local historical significance where a World War 2 Wellington bomber crash landed in Loch Ness.
It was recovered some years ago and an information plaque recalls the event. As part of the works, the steps to the beach have also been upgraded.
The southern end of the lay-by remains closed to traffic. The retaining wall supporting the southern end of the lay-by requires strengthening and refurbishing to bring it into line with current standards, offering improved safety for trunk road users.
What is involved?
The 280m long dry stone retaining wall supporting the lay-by dates from the 1930s. Age and the impact of increased traffic flows, including parked coaches and heavy goods vehicles, mean the wall is coming under increased loading.
Structural repairs were carried out in 2006 but in 2008 a routine inspection noted further defects. To protect the public, we took the decision to close some sections of the lay-by.
Further damage was sustained in February 2010 following a long period of heavy rain. Repairs were carried out enabling a short length of lay-by to be re-opened to traffic.
Works to improve drainage and stabilise a section of retaining wall at the north end of the lay-by were carried out in Spring 2011, as well as reinstating safe pedestrian access to the loch foreshore, but it was not possible to fully reopen the lay-by.
The success of the wall stabilisation works enabled a further 80m length of the lay-by to be re-opened to traffic in September 2011.
The retaining wall is regularly monitored to detect any defects and ensure the lay-by is safe to use, but it cannot be fully re-opened until the wall is completely rebuilt.
How much will it cost?
The extent and cost of the permanent structural works is to be determined.
What stage is it currently at?
The project is currently at the options feasibility stage to identify the preferred solution. When finance is available the detailed design will be undertaken and the scheme entered into the works programme.
The works programme and duration cannot be determined until this is complete, and will be subject to availability of resources.
How will it affect me?
There is currently no impact on A82(T) traffic, other than the restricted number of parking spaces in the lay-by itself. When using the lay-by, drivers should take extra care when pulling in and out, and all users should be especially aware when walking adjacent to live traffic.
The impact to traffic once the structural works begin cannot be determined until after the results of the feasibility study are made available.
What is being done to reduce the environmental impact?
The environmental impact of the works will be minimised with mitigation and control measures put in place to protect the local environment.
Environmental scoping will be undertaken once the preferred solution has been agreed. This will determine if further assessment is required.