Work complete on Fort’s new £1.7M coastal defences alongside A82

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Work has finished on Fort William’s new A82 trunk road coastal defence project worth more than £1.7m.

The work, which started in February last year, involved the demolition and replacement of 750 metres of the coastal defence system situated along the shoreline of Loch Linnhe to the south of the town.

As part of the project, approximately 4,200 tonnes of existing material was excavated along the shoreline to allow construction of the new coastal defence.

The new defences consists of more than 1,650 concrete modular blocks overlain with geotextile membrane and 2,600 tonnes of rock ‘armour’, which is designed to resist wave and tidal action and protect adjacent land from erosion.

New culvert headwalls were also installed to provide resilience to outfall points present along the shoreline.

On the A82 itself, footway improvements and new safety barriers have been installed and new access steps have been provided between the footway and the shoreline of Loch Linnhe below.

Given the scale of the work required to replace the coastal defence system, continuous use of temporary traffic management was required during the project, with traffic lights in use throughout.

Trunk roads operator BEAR Scotland this week thanked the community and road users for their patience during the essential work, which is crucial to safeguard the ongoing resilience of the A82.

Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward councillor Andrew Baxter welcomed news of the project’s completion.

Councillor Andrew Baxter. F17andrewbaxter1no
Councillor Andrew Baxter welcomed the news of the investment but says Lochaber residents will need to see action on the ground.

He told the Lochaber Times: ‘This was an important project for Lochaber that will protect the vital A82. Although the project slipped behind schedule because of poor weather, it is good to see it completed.

‘Now the Scottish Government and BEAR Scotland should concentrate on repairing other sections of the A82 in Lochaber that are in a shocking state and push ahead with an upgrade that we desperately need.’

Commenting on the improvements, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Unit Representative, said this £1.7m investment from Transport Scotland will protect the integrity of the A82 to the south of Fort William for many years, and was necessary following the storms that caused significant damage to the previous protection measures in 2020.

Mr Ross added: ‘The new defences will provide resilience to the operation of the A82 at this location, protecting it from the effects of wave and tidal erosion for years to come. In addition, a wider footway adjacent to the trunk road and the provision of new safety barriers will greatly improve road safety for all users of the route.

‘We thank road users and the community for their patience while we carried out these works.’

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