Transport Scotland (TS) has announced its £13.2m Kessock Bridge project will see extensive resurfacing and upgrading works carried out on the 30-year-old bridge between February and June 2013 and between February and June 2014. The structure carries the A9 trunk road north from Inverness to the Black Isle across the Beauly Firth.
Traffic restrictions will be in place during the works, with a reduced speed limit of 30mph on the bridge for the safety of motorists and the workforce. A contraflow system will be running for 24 hours a day, providing one running lane of traffic in each direction across the bridge. The layout of roads leading to and from the bridge is to be completed before the work starts on February 11.
TS said the changes will include new traffic lights and roundabouts. New lights are being installed at the Longman Island south of Kessock Bridge, Rose Street Roundabout and at the junction of Henderson and Longman Road. A dedicated bus lane will be put in place on the A9 south running from the south of Tore Roundabout to the Kessock Bridge. A new southbound slip road is being constructed from Stadium Road to the A9 south. A dedicated bus lane will also be in place at Stadium Road approaching Longman Roundabout.
TS said the permanent changes have been designed in conjunction with Highland Council to reduce congestion, both during the works on the bridge and in the future.
“There is no getting away from the fact that road works on the bridge will increase journey times noticeably,” a TS spokesman warned.
Steve Walker, MD of Stagecoach in the Highlands said: “We’re pleased traffic modelling suggests delays to buses will be minimal and of course the permanent road improvements will continue to benefit bus users upon completion.”
Drivers in and around Inverness during the works can access up to the minute journey time information at http://trafficscotland.org/