First walk across the West Link
Cllr Alan Henderson, Chair of The Highland Council Places Committee takes first walk across the new bridge spanning the River Ness and connecting communities in the north and south sides of the river.
The first of the central beams to connect the north and south side of the West Link bridge were put in place in March this year, with subsequent work to complete the bridge structure taking place over the past few months.
Councillor Allan Henderson said: “I am delighted and feel very privileged to be amongst the first people to cross the river by foot on the West Link route. It is marvellous to be able to finally do this. The project is going well and the road will be open to the public by the end of the year, which is great news for everyone. The new route will ease congestion considerably and provide a key strategic link between the communities in the north and south of Inverness.”
Plans are underway to find a name for the new bridge with a number of options going to a public vote in the autumn.
All works connected with Inverness West Link phase 1 and the Canal Parks Enhancement works are running to schedule and are on programme to be completed during the winter, with the road opening in December 2017.
Stage 2 of the West Link project will require the construction of alternative golf holes, and works cannot commence until these become playable. Stage 2 is programmed to commence in 2019 and will be completed in 2020 following the relocation of the golf course and building of a second swing bridge.
The West Link forms part of the Council’s contribution to the City-Region Deal investment by partners, agreed in March 2016.
The Benefit to Cost Ratio of the West Link project is 3.86, which represents nearly £4 of benefit to every £1 of public investment.
The West Link will reduce congestion within Inverness City Centre and encourage cycling and walking by increased active travel links. Journey times will be improved for movements to/from the west of the City. It will enable the development of significant areas for housing and other economic development at Ness-side and Torvean.