Councillor gives a cautious welcome of new stretch of road at A9 Berriedale Braes
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The partial opening of the new road at Berriedale Braes has received a cautious welcome from a Highland councillor.
"I am obviously pleased that this bit of work has been done," Councillor Matthew Reiss said. "The important point is that we will no longer get HGVs stuck on the hairpin bend – that is good news for everyone.
"I welcome the removal of the hairpin bend, which caused lots of delays. However, it is still going to be a challenging bit of road."
Councillor Reiss (Thurso and Northwest Caithness) pointed out that one or two residents from Berriedale had expressed concern about southbound motorists now approaching the sharp left bend after the new A9 road alignment at a faster speed.
He added: "I have been told there are no other actual road improvements planned for the next 10 years."
The £9.6 million upgrade of the Berriedale Braes was due to be completed in the spring, but work by Dingwall-based engineering company RJ Macleod came to a halt during lockdown.
A temporary traffic arrangement was introduced on the southbound lane of the new road overnight on Thursday last week.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "During this temporary arrangement, traffic is running under one-way operation controlled by temporary traffic signals. This phase of the works is to enable the contractor to complete the construction of the northbound side of the new road safely.
“The road is anticipated to be opened in the coming months subject to any unforeseen circumstances, such as adverse weather, and with works continuing in compliance with Construction Scotland Restart Model.
“When completed, the scheme will deliver improved journey times and will remove the need for vehicles to slow down to negotiate the previous hairpin bend.”