“A particularly challenging part” of the main road through Strathpeffer will be closed for up to three weeks to allow Scottish Water to carry out essential work.
A section of the A834 Dingwall to Contin road, in Strathpeffer village, will be closed to traffic from January 31.
The closure will allow the final part of an upgrade to the village’s main sewer to be completed.
While pedestrians will be able to pass throughout, there will be no through road for vehicles with traffic diverted via the A835 Inverness to Ullapool road.
Road access to the primary school, medical practice and community centre will be from the Contin side of the works, while the Square and Spa Pavilion will only be accessible from the Dingwall side.
Strathpeffer is known for its spa, and as the former Highland home of musician Gerry Rafferty.
Businesses will remain open while work is taking place
Scottish Water said arrangements have been made for school transport services to continue. It confirmed that businesses will remain open while work is taking place.
Project manager Sam Neill said: “This work is required to resolve a conflict between a section of the sewer which was upgraded in 2018 and an underground electricity cable below the A834 at the foot of Garden House Brae.
“The location of this cable was not known in advance of the original upgrade in 2018 and unfortunately it was not possible to resolve the conflict safely at that time.
“Carrying out this work now will ensure the full benefits of our earlier investment in the sewer network are realised – so that the village’s sewers can continue to serve customers and protect the environment for years to come.
“We recognise that this is a particularly challenging part of the road network to close and have worked with the roads authority to explore all available options.
“Unfortunately, the sewer is located near the centre of the road and there is no safe way to complete the excavation while allowing traffic to pass.
Work scheduled for ‘quieter months’
He continued: “There is also no local diversion route available within the village.
“Our team on site will be focused on completing the work safely and as quickly as possible. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused while our work is underway.”
Gavin Steel, Scottish Water’s regional corporate affairs manager, said: “Following discussion with representatives of the community last year, we have scheduled this work for the quieter winter months.
“We are also putting arrangements in place to mitigate the impact of the work as far as we can, particularly on school and public transport, while ensuring the final section of upgraded sewer is completed as quickly as possible so that the road can re-open.
“Pedestrian access past the working area will remain possible at all times – and local businesses and community facilities will be able to open as usual for the time of year.
“I would like to apologise for the need for a road closure at this difficult location, where there is no local alternative for cars and vehicles apart from the signposted diversion via the A835.
“We are grateful for the community’s understanding and the constructive feedback that we have received while preparing for the work to take place.”
For more information, please visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/Strathpeffer.