A9 Berriedale Braes improvements take step forward

IMPROVEMENTS to a notorious stretch of the A9 in Caithness are about to take another step forward.

Transport Minister Keith Brown. Picture: Contributed

Transport Scotland today announced that the ground investigation contract for improvements to the Berriedale Braes is expected to be awarded later this month.

A spokesman said: “Subject to the mandatory standstill period, Transport Scotland will award the £90,000 contract to geotechnical specialist, BAM Ritchies.Site work is expected to begin early next month and last for three weeks.”

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The Berriedale Braes - a series of tight hairpin bends - lie just south of Berriedale village. On the way north, the A9 drops down steeply (13 per cent over 1.3km), crosses a river and rises steeply again (13 per cent over another 1.3km).

Transport Minister Keith Brown said today: “This Government is committed to an improvement scheme at Berriedale Braes where the natural geography makes a challenging road alignment, particularly for HGVs and other long vehicles.

“As part of the ongoing design work, we are about to carry out Ground Investigation (GI) work, the results of which will inform a possible solution to the hairpin bend at Berriedale.

“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the design of this vital scheme is progressed as a matter of urgency and ready for next Summer.”