Work starts on £1.5m replacement Glencoe bridge project

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A new £1.5million project has been commissioned by Transport Scotland that will involve the replacement of an existing sub-standard bridge, which supports the A82 near Glencoe, Ballachulish.

Work to replace the bridge, located about one kilometre southeast of Glencoe village, was due to begin on Monday for up to six months.

The new, wider box culvert structure will carry the trunk road over the Allt Fhiodhan burn which flows into the River Coe.

The existing bridge is in poor condition and showing signs of continuing deterioration, meaning that it needs to be replaced for the safety of road users.

The replacement structure has been designed to last for 120 years, with the structure widened by more than six metres in total. New safety barriers will also be installed to  improve road user safety.

The new structure will be wide enough to incorporate a footway and the existing footpath from the Glencoe Visitor Centre and nearby camp site to Glencoe Village will be realigned over the new bridge.

An existing timber footbridge, which is located further upstream and is in poor condition, will be demolished once the new footpath alignment is complete.

Once complete, approximately 1,200 tonnes of rock armour will be installed around the new structure to protect the foundation and the river banks from any potential wash-out during high river flows.

A new, greener embankment will also be created using an innovative technique known as ‘willow spiling’. This involves planting willow saplings into the bank in two tiers before the plants are woven together into a terrace formation helping to create a new, strong natural river bank downstream of the new structure.

The project needs to be carried out through the summer months to avoid any disturbance in the stream during the sensitive salmon spawning season later in the year.

To allow the installation of the new culvert to take place, a temporary two-way diversion road will be constructed next to the site, allowing road users to safely continue their journeys on the A82 with minimal impact during the project.

Commenting on the project, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative, said: ‘This £1.5 million project is vital in ensuring the A82 trunk road remains a safe, reliable route to towns and villages in the north west of Scotland.

‘Our teams have designed the project to include a temporary two-way diversion road, ensuring the A82 remains open throughout this major project and disruption is minimised.

‘The new bridge will mean a stronger, wider, reliable structure for years to come along the route, with a new footpath alignment installed for pedestrians travelling between the Glencoe Visitor Centre and nearby campsite to Glencoe village.

‘We take our commitment to working with the environment very seriously, and we need to carry out this project during the summer to avoid impacting on the salmon spawning season.

‘Our teams will however do all they can to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible, and work to minimise disruption wherever they can.’