THE contract to finally remove one of the North east’s most notorious traffic bottlenecks is set to be awarded next year, the Scottish Government announced today.
Drivers on the A96 Aberdeen to Elgin road have endured decades of delays at the Inveramsay Bridge near Inverurie where the busy road narrows down to a single lane, controlled by traffic lights, when it passes under a rail bridge carrying the main Aberdeen to Inverness line.
Transport Scotland is planning to spend £11 million on the construction of a new bridge structure to take the road over the railway and realign the A96 over a length of almost a mile in a move that will allow the free flow of traffic on the trunk road for the first time.
The roads agency today announced: “Locals and drivers who use the A96 will welcome the news that the contract award for the work to remove a notorious bottleneck on the main Aberdeen-Inverness route is expected next year, subject to the successful completion of the statutory process.
“Transport Scotland today published the made orders for the £11 million Inveramsay Bridge improvements scheme confirming the final line the new road will take.”
The Transport Scotland spokesman added: “The scheme is expected to be completed in early 2016.”
Keith Brown, the Scottish Transport Minister, welcomed the announcement. He said: “Inveramsay Bridge is a notorious bottleneck on one of the North east’s busiest roads and the Scottish Government is committed to removing the traffic lights that have affected road users travelling on this stretch of the A96 for many years.
“The publication of Road Orders is a clear signal of our determination to deliver this important scheme with advance works on site expected to start before the end of 2014.”
Mr Brown continued: “We have been working closely with our partners in the rail industry to find a solution to what is a complex engineering task which will need a new bridge to take over a mile of new road over the existing railway. At present the road travels under the railway and is restricted to one way traffic with signals because of the narrowness of the railway bridge. Prior to this the bridge was, prone to being hit by larger vehicles which often caused closures and delays.
“The result when finished though will be felt by all who use the road through improved journey times and journey time reliability and reduce congestion on one of the key routes in the north of Scotland.”