Caol and Lochyside flood protection scheme traffic management plans in place

NO F28 Caol and Lochyside flood prevention
An impression of how the flood prevention scheme will look when completed. NO F28 Caol and Lochyside flood prevention

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As work on the new £11million flood protection scheme at Caol and Lochyside continues, The Highland Council and contractor RJ McLeod say they are working hard to ensure that any disruption for the local community is kept to a minimum.

The new 1.2km flood embankment will run along the shores of Loch Linnhe from the Caledonian Canal embankment to the Caol Spit and an 800m flood wall will be constructed up the side of the River Lochy adjacent to the road and finishing at soldier’s bridge.

Enhanced environmental benefits to the wider community will be included as part of the works with improved access to the towpath at the Caledonian Canal and improved walking and cycling routes along the length of the scheme with planting, seating, paths and a play area.

The project, which is due to run over a period of approximately 22 months, will be constructed in phases.

With around 100,000 tonnes of quarry materials needed at site, traffic management arrangements will be in place and people should expect additional traffic on the local road network.

After carefully considering all aspects of safety, details of the proposed traffic management arrangements are currently being circulated to the local community.

The access to the site will be off the A830.  For the works on the shores of Loch Linnhe a  one way system is proposed for all site traffic with access onto Kilmallie Road over the level crossing at Banavie, turning right on to a small unnamed access road that runs parallel to the canal and  to the rear of the properties on Glenkingie Street.

The plan is for all construction vehicles to leave the site at the Caol spit access onto Kilmallie Road and proceed to the signalised junction on the A830 opposite Lochaber High School.  Vehicles delivering materials to the flood wall on the river Lochy would access and egress the site using the signalised junction off the A830.

Whilst work on the flood wall along the River Lochy is underway, due to the restricted space, there will be a requirement for traffic lights to be used for an extended period of up to 12 months.

A Public Liaison Officer has been appointed to act as a point of contact for the community and can be contacted via  calfps@rjmcleod.co.uk or by phone: 01397 313110

The Public Liaison Officer and Highland Council Staff are to keep the community updated regarding traffic management issues, construction progress and will be available to deal with any issues which may arise during the contract.

Caol and Mallaig Councillor and chairman of the council’s Housing and Property Committee, Ben Thompson, said the RJ McLeod team and council engineers had spent a considerable effort in looking at all aspects of safety and traffic management to keep any impact on the local community to a minimum.

Lochaber councillor Ben Thompson. Photograph: Abrightside Photography. FW Councillor Ben Thompson 1no JP
Lochaber councillor Ben Thompson. Photograph: Abrightside Photography.

‘I am pleased that a Public Liaison Officer will be the dedicated link between everyone working on the project and the local community and there is a real commitment to continue to keep everyone living and working close to the site informed,’ he added.

‘This is a major project to protect local homes, so we are asking the public to be patient and follow all signage and directions during the works.’

Project Manager for RJ McLeod, Steven Scott, commented: ‘We believe that these proposed delivery routes will have the least impact on the Caol and Lochyside communities. However, we will continually be monitoring the situation with all traffic and where possible, look at alternative details to reduce any impact on road users.

‘All vehicles delivering to the site will be given a drivers briefing covering the delivery routes and  speed limits and where practical, we will avoid school opening and closing times and respect the local community.

‘Our community engagement will continue. The Traffic Management Plan is a live document and will be updated throughout the project.’