Story Contracting wins Invercoe Bridge replacement deal

The Highland Council has awarded a £5.5 million contract for the replacement of B863 Invercoe bridge to Story Contracting Ltd as upgrade works are also set to begin at Uig Harbour.

Story Contracting wins Invercoe Bridge replacement deal

The project is required to replace the existing Invercoe Bridge, which is in a poor condition and currently restricted to single lane traffic. The works include the demolition of the existing four-span reinforced concrete bridge and the construction of a new two-span steel and concrete bridge in its place.

A temporary bridge will be installed alongside the existing structure to maintain road and pedestrian access across the river during the works. Traffic lights and single way working will be in place for the duration of the construction. 

Story Contracting Ltd will be starting replacement works from December 2021 with the new bridge planned to open in Autumn 2022. Due to environmental restrictions, in water based works will continue until March 2023.

The project has recently been awarded a £4.137m grant from the Scottish Government’s Local Bridge Maintenance Fund.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “We are looking forward to working with Story Contracting Ltd to deliver this exciting £5.5m project. The existing Invercoe Bridge, serves a significant access route and was built around the 1930s. Its replacement is integral to the sustainability of local communities. We ask that the public be patient whilst the work is carried out and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Meanwhile, RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd are starting works at Uig Harbour this week where the ferry terminal will be upgraded with new infrastructure.

This forms a key part of the Skye Triangle upgrade where the Highland Council have been working closely with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to deliver the Uig works with the ongoing upgrade works at Tarbert and Lochmaddy.

The infrastructure improvements at Uig have been presented to the local community through a number of public consultation and community engagement events and will include an extended marshalling area, berthing structure strengthening and widening, linkspan replacement, approach way repair and widening, a relocated new waiting shelter, a new terminal building (to be tendered separately and constructed during the main works), dredging and utility provision.

The community will be informed of further details of the construction works and traffic management arrangements through locally held liaison meetings over the next month and throughout the project, the Highland Council project website, community Facebook pages and on noticeboards located around the local community.

Chair of the council’s Skye and Raasay committee, Cllr John Gordon, said: “I am pleased that the Uig Harbour Redevelopment works are now due to start on site. Construction of such a major harbour infrastructure scheme will no doubt create disruption for the community and harbour users so I am pleased Highland Council and RJ McLeod staff will be holding regular and frequent community and harbour user liaison meetings, as well as having progress updates posted on a dedicated Uig Harbour Redevelopment website and on social media. It is important that residents and harbour users are clear what to expect and are able to communicate easily with the contractor. We all want to see disruption well managed for the project.”

RJ McLeod, director, Sandy Osborne, said: “We are very pleased to be working again with the Highland Council to deliver this important infrastructure project which will accommodate the new vessel on the Skye Triangle.  It will follow our soon to be completed pier redevelopment in Tarbert where our works have delivered a boost to the local economy, not only in terms of employment with an established local highland contractor but also in terms of the extensive and valuable local supply chain of goods and services. An integral part of the project will be community liaison and protection of the environment and we will follow and build on the good practices developed in recent projects.”

RJ McLeod will be working closely with the Skye and Lochalsh Job Centreplus to target recruitment and training opportunities locally.  The site team will be engaging with the neighbouring schools and colleges to deliver educational support and careers inspiration across Skye.

Construction works are expected to be complete in Summer 2023 with an outage period (required to construct the linkspan and outer roundhead, during which there can be no ferry service to/from Uig) programmed from 12 September 2022 to 3 February 2023. CalMac Ferries Ltd are currently assessing options associated with alternative ferry service arrangements during the closure period of Uig to provide capacity for this vital ferry link and will consult with relevant communities in the coming weeks.

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