Morrison Construction is now on site for the largest phase of the Smithton & Culloden Flood Protection Scheme which will protect 129 properties that would otherwise be at risk of a flooding during a “once-in-200-years” event.
The works as part of this final phase will complement those undertaken in earlier phases and include the replacement of a culvert between Lochlann Court and Redburn Avenue, the creation of flood storage areas in Culloden Park and Smithton Park, the removal of a culvert beneath Smithton Park and the removal of a culvert between the railway at Murray Terrace and Smithton Park.
The Scottish Government is funding 80% of the project costs with Highland Council providing the remainder.
Vice chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee and local ward councillor, Trish Robertson, said: “The council gave a commitment to do all we could to reduce flood risk in the area and these new site works once complete will be key to making the community safer from potential flooding.”
Councillor Robertson joined the Provost of Inverness Cllr Helen Carmichael for a visit to the site yesterday to meet the team from Morrison Construction who will be carrying out the work.
Morrison Construction, which has experience in construction of flood schemes, most recently in Moray, will be undertaking various community initiatives during the contract. These will include providing updates at community groups, attending schools to engage with children in relation to the construction and by providing work placement opportunities and apprenticeship opportunities for senior high school pupils and university students.
Morrison Construction managing director infrastructure Scotland, Jim Steele, said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate this exciting milestone for a scheme that will provide vital flood defences to protect the Smithton and Culloden communities.
“As a local company we have a successful working relationship with The Highland Council and look forward to further collaboration to deliver this important infrastructure.
“Throughout construction we will continue to engage with all stakeholders while creating education and employment opportunities to ensure the project has a lasting positive impact for the community.”
The majority of works are due to be complete by the summer of 2019. There will be a noticeable increase in traffic due to the construction vehicles and there will be necessary traffic lights and pedestrian diversions at various locations throughout the works. The council and Morrison Construction will work closely to ensure that disruptions are kept to a minimum.