Dalwhinnie rail line road bridge to be closed for lengthy periods for upgrades
Get the Strathspey Herald sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
A £235,000 project to upgrade the A889 Dalwhinnie rail bridge is now under way and is expected to last for six weeks.
The programme of essential maintenance work started on Monday and will entail some closures of the bridge with an 18 mile detour in place.
A spokesperson for contractor BEAR said: "The project involves replacing the current temporary traffic signals and temporary safety barrier at the bridge with permanent traffic signals and vehicle safety barrier.
"The bridge and its approaches will also be resurfaced and new road markings applied to promote safer journeys for road users."
BEAR has said that a full closure of the bridge is required from 7pm on Saturday 31 October until 7am on Monday 16 November for safety reasons.
The spokesperson said: "This closure will allow teams to carry out the main installation work required on the bridge deck for the new traffic signals and safety barriers, with operatives working in the centre of the carriageway to achieve this."
Further road closures will take place during the day from Sunday 22 November to Wednesday 25 November, 7am to 7pm, to allow completion of the project.
During the closures all traffic will be diverted via the A9 to Kingussie and the A86 to Laggan.
This diversion will add approximately 18 miles – around 23 minutes – to the journey times between Dalwhinnie and Laggan.
Local access will be maintained either side of the site and a safe system will be in place to escort pedestrians and cyclists through the closure.
BEAR said consultation has been carried out in advance of the project to share information, including the proposed traffic management plans.
Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “This £235,000 project for the A889 Dalwhinnie Rail Bridge will see the removal of the temporary road barriers and traffic lights on the structure, and replacing them with permanent, safer and more reliable fixtures.
"The bridge deck will also be re-surfaced and new road markings added to enhance road user safety.
“Due to the narrow width of the bridge it is essential for us to carry out part of this project under a complete closure for safety reasons.
“We’ve consulted with stakeholders, listened to their feedback, and have arranged for this project to take place from late October into November when traffic levels are generally lower, helping to reduce disruption as much as possible.
“Our teams will do everything they can to keep disruption to a minimum during the project and complete the work as quickly and safely as possible.
“We encourage road users to plan their journeys in advance by checking in with Traffic Scotland and by making allowance for some extra time to reach their destination.”
Real-time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on www.trafficscotland.org, twitter at @trafficscotland and the new mobile site my.trafficscotland.org.