In the swing of it
Essential works to four swing bridges on the A82 have been carried out by a team at NEWCo.
The maintenance works on the bridges at Aberchalder, Laggan, Fort Augustus and Banavie had been carried out overnight to limit disruption.
The works are part of a £1,300,000 investment by Transport Scotland, which saw worn mechanical components replaced and repairs made to the carriageway. This section of the A82 is used by around 3,500 vehicles every day.
Leading on the project was Willie Lawrie who said: “Our team was working on behalf of Volker Laser who were the main contractors. We secured the contract in December and it was crucial that the works were completed whilst the canal is shut. By the time we got on site to carry out the works, it was January, so we have had to work fast to make sure that everything was completed on time.”
Willie added: “We do a lot of maintenance works like this, so whilst we had to work to tight deadlines, the project went very smoothly.
“Each bridge required different maintenance works. The swing bridge at Aberchalder needed the most works. Overall, the woks included replacing the actual wheels the bridge runs on and also the tracks that the wheels move on. We also had to replace a lot of bearings.
“On the bridge at Banavie we did do a small amount of design work. Some old motors were removed, and we had to design and fabricate in our CNC shop, a new casing for the new smaller motors. Apart from that everything was supplied to us by the customer.
“One of the great things was that our team was able to take the old wheels and refurbish them, so that there are now spares if they are required.”
Speaking at the time of the project, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “These essential works will help address defects and ensure the continued reliability of the swing bridges for motorists and canal users alike.
“The overnight closures are essential for the safety of road workers and motorists, due to the need to swing the bridge open for these works. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and have taken steps to limit the overall impact of the project by carrying out the work.
“Our teams will do all they can to complete the works as quickly and safely as they can, and we thank the local community and road users for their patience in advance while we complete these works. We encourage motorists to plan ahead before setting out by checking the Traffic Scotland website for up-to-date travel information.”