Improvements along A832 route to Gairloch officially opened
The first section of a three phase programme of works to complete a twin track road from Kinlochewe to Gairloch has been officially opened.
Local Councillors Richard Greene and Audrey Sinclair, Chair of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, were joined by representatives from the local community and staff from the council and UBCivils Limited for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Leading a piped procession along the new road was Piper Louis Peteranna, a fourth year pupil at Culloden Academy who played The High Road To Gairloch as guests assembled. Gairloch High School Head boy Lucas Jackson and Head Girl Christie Wilson were then asked to join the councillors to cut the ribbon.
This 900m section of the A832 by Slattadale has been designed and supervised by The Highland Council’s Project Design Unit in Dingwall. UBCivils Limited of Inverness were awarded the £1.4 million contract and started work on site in October last year. They worked through the winter and have successfully completed the works 6 weeks early and within budget.
In his speech of thanks Councillor Richard Greene, Vice Chair of Community Services said: “The completion of this phase sees us take another step forward in twin tracking the important A832/A835 loop which is hugely important for tourism development in Wester Ross. This section is also of course part of the North Coast 500 Route.
“The efforts of UBCivils have been much appreciated and in particular the contributions made by Andrew Peteranna, the site agent, and Iain MacLean, the site foreman. The council’s site team of Ken Carmichael and Annaliza Groat should also be thanked for their role in the successful delivery of the project.
“I’d also like to thank Duncan Mackenzie from Gairloch Estate and especially the members of the local community who have patiently endured the months of regular delays caused by traffic management on the very constrained site of the roadworks.”
Colin Peteranna, Director of UBCivils Ltd also wanted to thank local road users. He said: “We would like to extend our appreciation to the local road users for their patience and understanding over the eight-month construction period. This on-line road upgrade did create some challenges in maintaining traffic flow through major earthworks and the heavy lifting required for the large box culverts.
“As a local contractor we are proud to carry out this important project for The Highland Council and would also like to thank our partners Leiths (Scotland) Ltd and Alba Traffic Management for their assistance in bringing the project to completion 6 weeks ahead of schedule.”
Phase 2 will be the next 600m of twin tracking to the dam at Loch Bad an Sgalaig and works are currently planned for 2018-19. Phase 3 will involve the creation of a completely new section of road, almost 5km in length, from Loch Bad an Sgalaig across the hills and preliminary design work for this is currently underway.
Looking ahead Councillor Sinclair added: “It’s good news that the project has been completed ahead of schedule and I’d like to add my thanks to the community for their co-operation during construction. I believe good communication between the contractor and traffic management has been key to the success. We can now look forward to the next phase of upgrading work on this important route starting and once again working closely with the local community.”