A82

Groundwork contract awarded for Tarbet to Inverarnan stretch of A82

Transport Scotland has announced the intention to award a £3.4 million ground investigation contract to Soil Engineering Geoservices Ltd subject to completion of the mandatory standstill period.

The work is programmed to start in March and is expected to be on site for a period of 18 weeks.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “We remain committed to upgrading the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

“These ground investigations due to get underway next month will provide the detailed information needed to help inform the development and assessment of the scheme’s design.

“We need to ensure that any future upgrade fits within the area’s outstanding landscape and environment and maintains the renowned beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

“The work we are doing along this vital route that connects the Highlands and Islands with the central belt will lead to improved road safety and journey time reliability and meet the needs of business, communities and visitors alike.”

Maintenance work to be stepped up at A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan

A82-Tarbet-InverarnanA major programme of enhanced maintenance works costing around £140,000 is due to start next Monday on the A82 route between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

The work, which will include a programme of tree and drainage clearance and the removal of loose rocks, meets a pledge that transport minister Derek Mackay gave to the A82 Partnership last year to improve the route in advance of its upgrade.

The work is expected to be completed by Easter.

Whilst plans have been made to ensure no road closures will be required, some temporary traffic management including traffic control via traffic lights and stop-go boards will be put in place to ensure roadworker and public safety.

Transport Scotland is also progressing design work on plans to upgrade the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan with the preferred route option going on public display last October. The next phase of the design work is now being progressed with a view to preparing draft Orders for the scheme.

Derek Mackay said: “This ten mile section of road through stunning hills and by the banks of the iconic Loch Lomond has presented a real challenge as we have taken forward the design work.

“Last October we were able to let the public see and comment on the preferred route option to upgrade the road between Tarbet and Inverarnan, and we are now taking forward the next phase of design which will lead to the preparation of draft Orders.

“Last year I took a trip in an HGV to see for myself the challenges of driving the route and as a result I pledged to carry out a programme of measures to improve the route in advance of the upgrade for all road users, but particularly those driving long vehicles.

“This work will be getting underway next week and will include the clearing away of vegetation, overhanging trees and the removal of loose stones and rocks from the verge of the existing road as well as the clearance and improvement of the existing drainage system.

“We are committed to upgrading the A82 and have already completed the £5.5m Crianlarich Bypass and the £9.2m Pulpit Rock Improvements in addition to the £57m we have invested in the route since 2007, bringing significant improvements for road users and local communities who rely on this road to go about their day to day business.

“We are working hard on more longer terms upgrades between Tarbet and Invernan and in the meantime this enhanced maintenance of the route will improve in the shorter term the journey experience for everyone using this vital lifeline which connects businesses and communities in the Highlands and Islands with the central belt.”

A82 design work stepped up as preferred route chosen

A82 Road Cross Section

A82 Road Cross Section

A preferred route option for the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan upgrade has been identified which closely follows the existing stretch of the road.

A series of public exhibitions starting today will let the public see and comment on the preferred route option as the next stage of design work gets underway.

The next phase of the £8 million design work, including a detailed ground investigation and topographical survey, will now be progressed with a view to preparing draft Orders for the scheme.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “The 10 mile section of the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan runs between the iconic Loch Lomond and the stunning hills that border it, so it is important that this scheme overcomes the challenges of the topography while maintaining the world renowned beauty of the area.

“Following route option assessment work, we are now able to confirm that the preferred route option will closely follow the existing road. We are now stepping up the work with the next stage of design costing over £8 million leading to the publication of draft Orders for the scheme in 2017.

“In addition, we are determined to enhance the existing route in the interim and that is why we are working to identify and implement a programme of short and medium term measures, including vegetation and drainage clearance and bend widening where it is possible.

“Coupled with the completed Pulpit Rock improvement and Crianlarich Bypass schemes, already bringing improved road safety and journey time reliability, we are committed to upgrading the A82 which is a vital economic and social lifeline as it connects businesses and communities in the Highlands and Islands with the central belt.”

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, added: “We are delighted to have worked alongside Transport Scotland to reach this key stage in developing a high quality road design for this world-class scenic route through the National Park.

“This announcement is most welcome and the work ensures the new road design can both meet the needs of communities and businesses and maximise tourism benefits while enhancing the environment.”

Over the next few months BEAR Scotland will be undertaking an intensive programme of short term improvements which will include vegetation and tree canopy clearance, clearance and improvement of the existing drainage system, and the removal of loose stones and rocks from the verge of the existing A82. The feasibility of further medium term interim improvements such as localised schemes to widen the road at tight bends and additional improvements to the drainage system along the route will also be investigated.

Details of the public exhibitions:

Wednesday 30th September, 12 noon – 7pm
Three Villages Hall, Arrochar,
Argyll & Bute, G83 7AB

Thursday 1st October, 12 noon – 7pm
Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street,
Crianlarich, Perthshire, FK20 8QN

Friday 2nd October, 2pm – 7pm
Kilmore & Oban Parish Church Centre,
Glencruitten Road, Oban, Argyll,
PA34 4DN

Tuesday 6th October, 12 noon – 7pm
Duncansburgh MacIntosh Church Hall,
The Parade, Fort William, Inverness-shire,
PH33 6BA

Minister hails ‘remarkable’ Pulpit Rock road scheme

A82 Pulpit Rock - near completion April 2015

A82 Pulpit Rock – near completion April 2015

Transport minister Derek Mackay gave the thumbs up for the newly opened £9.2 million Pulpit Rock road scheme on Loch Lomondside, finally removing traffic lights on this section of the A82 for the first time in over thirty years.

The Minister said the new viaduct which now carries traffic over the shore of Loch Lomond was a “remarkable engineering achievement”.

Mr Mackay said: “The A82 is not only a vital lifeline for businesses and local communities but a very popular route for visitors to Scotland, and it’s why we have pumped £57m into the road’s upgrade and maintenance since 2007.

“Our multi-million schemes are improving journeys and the new viaduct at Pulpit Rock now takes traffic over Loch Lomond’s shoreline is both breathtaking and a significant engineering achievement. The viaduct enables the road to be widened to two way traffic and for traffic signals which have been there for over thirty years, to be removed and will be welcomed by local communities and road users.

“Elsewhere the new £5m bypass at Crianlarich which opened a few months ago, is also proving effective in diverting traffic away from the town, particularly strategic traffic needing to avoid the low rail bridge.

“We are also taking forward work to improve the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan. This ten mile stretch of road which hugs Loch Lomond’s shoreline will be a challenge as we must strike a fine balance in seeking to meet the varying needs of road users and being sensitive to the world-renowned scenic beauty of the area. Design plans are expected to be published for the scheme this year.

“The £1.2m Glen Gloy improvement works to realign the road are expected to finish this month, and other schemes on the A82 worth £1.7m are underway from Stoneymollan in the south to Fort Augustus in the north – all underlining our commitment to this iconic route.”

Timelapse footage of the £9.2m Pulpit Rock viaduct construction on Loch Lomondside shows the main girder placement – these span between the main piers and support the concert deck which in turn carries the road.

A82 improvement project underway at Glen Gloy

A82 improvements

A million pound contract which will see major repairs and improvements to the A82 in the North West Highlands is underway.

Transport minister Derek Mackay visited the site at Glen Gloy, near Spean Bridge, on Tuesday to mark the beginning of the project, which will remedy the damage done to the riverbank supporting the road by a landslide.

The complex engineering scheme, which will be carried-out by will restore two way traffic on this part of the A82. It will also see three hundred meters of the road realigned and two bends taken away to improve driving conditions.

The work represents further investment in the A82. The £5m Crianlarich Bypass was open to traffic last year, works are underway on the £9.2m Pulpit Rock scheme, which will remove the bottleneck and traffic lights at this location, and a £2m design commission is also progressing on the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to improving the trunk road network to support our economy and this latest investment in the A82 will further improve the transport infrastructure in the North West of Scotland.

“A great deal of preparation has been done in advance of today and Transport Scotland and its contractors have been working hard to find a way of carrying out this improvement project without having to completely close the road.

“They have achieved that goal and the area will remain open for business during construction, with the A82 back to full running ahead of the Summer tourism season.

“A huge thanks has to go to the communities along the route for their patience while the investigation work has been on-going to allow us to get to this stage. The project is now in the finishing straight and I look forward to seeing it deliver long term benefits for the area.”

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Unit representative, added: “We are delighted to work with Transport Scotland and Breedon Aggregates to help deliver this project, which will see a significant improvement in the A82.

“The investment will greatly enhance road user safety and the resilience and durability of the route, benefiting road users for years to come.”

£5m A82 bypass opens

A82 bypass

The first opportunity for users of the A82 to use the new £5 million Crianlarich Bypass was marked last month.

The new bypass, which includes the construction of a new 1.3 km stretch of the A82, will allow through traffic to avoid a bottleneck where the A82 and A85 meet and will enable road users to avoid the low bridges in Crianlarich.

Planners said local communities, businesses and tourists alike will benefit from reduced congestion on local roads, whilst the wider economy will also benefit by enhancing transport connections right across Scotland.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said the development will be welcomed by users of the A82, but also the people of Crianlarich who are well used to substantial levels of traffic flowing through the town, especially during tourist season.

He added: “The new two lane bypass will improve access for local people, local businesses and tourists by taking much of the through traffic away from Crianlarich. However, the bypass will not only bring much needed relief to the community, it will also improve journey time reliability and transport connections for road users from across Scotland.

“We are also making further significant improvements to the A82, one of Scotland’s key roads, with the £10m Pulpit Rock project on Loch Lomondside already well-advanced with the new structure now clearly visible to road users. This project will remove traffic lights for the first time in over thirty years.

“Plans are also well underway to upgrade the 17 km stretch of the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan and we have recently delivered a new £2m bridge at Bridge of Orchy. This is in addition to our investment of over £57m since 2007 to maintain the A82, which underlines our commitment to ensure the A82 is fit for purpose.”

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, added: “Anything that helps improve the visitor experience in Scotland is to be welcomed. The opening of the A82 bypass at Crianlarich is excellent news for Highland holidaymakers, as it will help cut the journey time to Glencoe, Fort William and the West Highlands.”

RJ McLeod will remain in Crianlarich over the coming weeks to complete minor works.

Contractor appointed for A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan ground investigations

Keith Brown

Keith Brown

A contractor has been selected to take forward ground investigation work as part of the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan improvement scheme.

Transport Scotland has announced the award of a ground investigations contract for over £370,000 to Environmental Scientifics Group Ltd.

The work is programmed to start in October and is expected to be on site for a period of 9 weeks.

The work is part of the Stage 2 assessment for the route and it is expected that a preferred route alignment will be identified by next Summer.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “We are firmly committed to upgrading the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

“We announced earlier this year that any upgrade work would take place along the line of the existing 17 km section of the route. Now we are taking forward further design work to identify a preferred route by next Summer.

“These ground investigations due to get underway next month will provide the detailed information needed to help inform the scheme’s design.

“We need to ensure that any future upgrade fits within the area’s outstanding landscape and environment and maintains the renowned beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

“The work we are doing along this vital route that connects the Highlands and Islands with the central belt will lead to improved road safety and journey time reliability and meet the needs of business, communities and visitors alike.”

Meanwhile locals are being invited to have their say on the preferred option for the A96 Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) dualling scheme.

The plans for the preferred option go on display at a series of public exhibitions being held in Nairn (3 October), Auldearn (6 October) and Inverness (7 October). The exhibitions will give locals, businesses, road users and individuals affected by the scheme a chance to comment on the proposals.

Mr Brown added: “The Scottish Government has given a clear commitment to dual the A96 by 2030, delivering around 86 miles of upgraded road between Inverness and Aberdeen.

“Dualling the route is a significant undertaking which requires careful, in-depth planning and design to ensure that we deliver the right scheme to help tackle congestion and provide better journey time reliability and road safety for all users.

“As a signal of that commitment, we are now providing locals and road users the opportunity to view the preferred option for the 30 km Inverness to Nairn including Nairn Bypass scheme.

“I would urge anyone with an interest to attend one of the exhibitions in October and comment on our plans.

“We expect to appoint a design consultant early next year to develop the preferred option and expect to publish draft orders for the scheme in 2016.”