Work on Connel Bridge walkway starting

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Construction of a temporary cantilevered walkway on the east side of the A828 Connel Bridge is set to begin in April and take four months to complete.

The temporary walkway will provide a safe access route across the bridge during the upcoming bridge deck replacement works, which requires the existing footpath and carriageway to be completely removed.

The possibility of retaining the facility will be considered after a feasibility exercise and full public consultation has been carried out.

BEAR Scotland, acting on behalf of Transport Scotland, said installation of the cantilevered walkway will have little impact on road users, with short road closures required between midnight and 5.30am to facilitate its construction over a limited number of nights.

Signs at either side of the bridge will advise road users of any restrictions proposed once specific dates are confirmed.

Cyclists wishing to use the temporary walkway will need dismount in order to use the facility.

In the coming weeks, local residents may see an increase in activity at the bridge as other maintenance works are carried out.

In advance of the deck replacement scheme, the bridge’s cross girders, which support the deck, will be strengthened by welding new web stiffening elements, and they will also be modified to receive the new deck superstructure.

Some grit blasting and painting will also be carried out to the underside of the bridge, which will result in some noise being experienced by local residents during daytime hours.

The actual bridge deck replacement works are programmed for summer/autumn 2023. The works will involve teams installing a new steel deck, which will ensure the bridge continues to operate at the highest of standards.

More information about traffic management arrangements will be shared closer to the time of the project commencing; however works are likely to take place overnight to limit disruption.

Commenting on the planned works on the A828 Connel Bridge, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: ‘We appreciate the historical importance of the A828 Connel Bridge and the vital transport link it provides to local communities.

‘This project will allow teams to install a temporary footway on the east side of Connel Bridge in advance of the deck replacement works which are scheduled to take place next year. The temporary walkway will maintain a route across the bridge whilst the bridge deck is replaced as we will need to close the existing footpath and carriageway.

‘Alongside Transport Scotland, we are currently considering making the walkway a permanent facility and will carry out a feasibility study of the options available, which will include consultation with all key stakeholders.

‘We’ve planned for the installation works of the temporary walkway to take place overnight in a bid to minimise inconvenience to road users and pedestrians, however we thank road users for their patience in advance and encourage them to plan ahead by checking Traffic Scotland for up to date information.’