Warm weather over the summer allowed great progress to be made on the A9 Berriedale Braes improvement scheme. The £9.6m contract to make the improvements was awarded to RJ MacLeod Ltd, a Dingwall based contractor, at the beginning of the year and work is due for completion by Spring 2020.
The new road requires the removal of 50,000 cubic metres of rock and alternative measures to drilling and blasting have been used to achieve this in order to avoid disturbing local bird colonies. Blasting was necessary to remove the last of the hard rock but only after it was confirmed the last of the breeding fulmars had left their nesting grounds.
Piling work is needed to construct a retaining wall, which is important to reduce the risk from long term erosion of the steep coastal cliffs. The pile platform has now been put in place to provide safe access for the piling rig.
Temporary infrastructure for telecoms services was put in place in June and services like broadband and telephone were re-routed in August 2019, before being relocated to their permanent home alongside the new road.
The next steps planned for the Autumn and Winter months include:
- Completion of the main earthworks operations
- Installing the piled retaining wall
- Installing rock anchor fixings to stabilise the rock
- Putting in drainage
- Road surfacing
- Landscaping works
For more information, click here to download the latest Autumn A9 Berriedale Braes newsletter from Transport Scotland and RJ McLeod.