Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

£9.6m Berriedale Braes road revamp opens to traffic

The Berriedale Braes in Caithness
The Berriedale Braes in Caithness

A massive £9.6million roads project to improve the most notorious section of the A9 at the Berriedale Braes in Caithness has opened to traffic.

Work resumed on the scheme in June to help improve the long-time traffic bottleneck.

Contractors were given the go-ahead to restart after having to suspend operations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dingwall-based RJ McLeod is carrying out the £9.6 million project to re-profile and widen the north hairpin bend on the trunk road.

The new stretch of road had been scheduled to have been completed by Easter, but became one of the many construction projects to be delayed by Covid-19.

At its peak the project supported over 50 jobs during construction.

Berriedale Braes work to restart

The improved road alignment, which involved removing an existing hairpin bend, will improve journey times and enhance road safety by removing the need for vehicles to slow down or stop to negotiate the bend.

Transport, infrastructure and connectivity secretary Michael Matheson said: “I welcome the opening of this key improvement project today, which will now begin to deliver improved road safety as well as better journey times for A9 road users.

“I would also like to pass on my appreciation to the contractor, RJ McLeod for their hard work and effort in constructing this project.

“They have been mindful from the outset of the strategic importance of this key route in the picturesque Scottish Highlands and the need to balance the delivery of complex engineering works with measures to mitigate impacts on the surrounding environment.

“During a visit last summer, I was able to see some of the measures the contractor took including using alternative techniques to remove a vast quantity of rock while avoiding disturbance of the nearby coastal bird colony during breeding season.”

The Berriedale Braes

Contractor RJ McLeod will remain on site for a period of time to undertake necessary finishing and landscaping work.

A temporary 30 mph speed restriction will be in place for around seven days after the road opening to allow the workforce to safely carry out landscaping and verge works adjacent to the road.

Scott Marr, site agent for contractor RJ McLeod, said: “We are delighted to see the works concluded and the new road opened at A9 Berriedale Braes.

“The works have been designed and constructed to alleviate previous issues with tight bends and steep gradients on this notorious stretch of road.

“We trust that the travelling public will now enjoy a safer and more comfortable travel experience on this stretch of the A9.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community and the general travelling public for their patience throughout the construction period.”

Michael MacLean, AECOM technical director, added: “The opening of this much anticipated improvement to the Scotland’s trunk road network is another key milestone for the project.

“Following years of planning, local road users, who regularly travel along this route, will now benefit from more efficient and safer journeys through this beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands.”


Already a subscriber? Sign in