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Work to restart on the dualling of the A9 after coronavirus lockdown


By Gavin Musgrove

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A9 road users are being advised to take care as construction of A9 dualling north of Perth resumes this week.

It follows the successful completion of the pre-start planning and preparation phase to alter the site offices and welfare facilities.

Social distancing measures have been put in place on site to allow work to resume on the A9 big money project.
Social distancing measures have been put in place on site to allow work to resume on the A9 big money project.

To allow some earthworks operations to recommence, traffic-signal controlled plant crossings will be reinstated following their removal as part of the temporary shutdown of site.

These include the C569 at Luncarty North Junction, the U38 Stanley Road, and on the C408 at Hunter’s Lodge (Bankfoot North Junction) as required.

In the coming months temporary traffic signals will also be required on the A9 for short periods overnight to enable the contractor to safely remove parapet formwork from the new overbridges above the A9 carriageway.

In addition, the temporary mini-roundabout south of Bankfoot is expected to remain in place until the adjacent new section of dual carriageway is constructed and traffic can be switched onto this new section of carriageway.

Alan Brisbane, Balfour Beatty Contract Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to site alongside Transport Scotland and have developed robust procedures to ensure our site offices, welfare facilities and methods of working throughout the site adhere to the Scottish Government’s latest guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene.

“We are committed to ensuring a safe working environment aligned to a ‘new normal’ way of working for our site team and members of the public – this will involve ongoing liaison with industry bodies, our colleagues and sub-contractors, to ensure best practice across all site-based activities.”

The first section of new carriageway on the A9 at the south end of the works was opened to traffic mid-February, and all major structures for the project were successfully lifted into place prior to the temporary site shutdown towards the end of March.

Construction will now focus on building the new dual carriageway section at the north of the site and the realignment of both North and South Bankfoot Junctions.

The next major milestone on the project is expected to be at the north end of the project between Bankfoot North Junction and the northern tie-in, when traffic will switch onto what will become the new A9 southbound carriageway.

This will allow works to begin on the old A9 northbound carriageway, creating two new northbound lanes. Works will also gradually recommence to upgrade Bankfoot North and South Junctions.

Gemma Montrose, project sponsor for Transport Scotland, said: “While we will endeavour to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the project with our contractor, our primary focus remains the health and safety of our workforce and the effective implementation of new operating procedures in line with the Government’s guidelines for the construction industry.

“These new measures are as much about the protection of the communities in which we are operating as they are about the protection of our workforce, and I would urge everyone to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines to allow us to progress the project as safely and efficiently as possible."



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