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25 September 2013
Dunmaglass road works

STRATHNAIRN NEWS - DUNMAGLASS WIND FARM WORKS ON THE B851 UPDATE - JULY 2013

At the beginning of the year, RES started a programme of upgrade works on the B851 in preparation for the construction of Dunmaglass Wind Farm.  The road improvements undertaken by RES are now complete and the team has begun preparations to leave their site offices at Littlemill in the next couple of weeks. Having reached this milestone, RES would like to thank the local community for their patience and ongoing support, particularly throughout the last section of the works.

The safety of road users, workers and the local community has always been of the utmost importance to RES. Our team has made every effort to keep disruption to a minimum and has very much appreciated the kind words expressed by residents while the work was ongoing.

The improvements will deliver significant long-term benefits for road users along the B851, as summarised below.

 Littlemill Bridge – The former single carriage way double arched stone bridge has been replaced with a new, twin track clear-span bridge.  This was the biggest element of works undertaken on the B851 improvements, and delivered one of the most noteworthy benefits to road users in its new capacity to cope with modern traffic levels.  The original bridge will be retained, although is no longer accessible to vehicular traffic.

 Inverarnie Bends – RES widened a 400 metre stretch of single track road near Tombreck to create a twin track carriageway. The existing Inverarnie culvert, which allows water to run under the road, has been replaced too with an altogether stronger structure. Originally, we anticipated the road would be fully closed for two months but the construction team were able to carry out the majority of the work under traffic management through the use of traffic lights and stop/go signs.

 South Croachy – At South Croachy, the B851 was upgraded from single track to twin track on a short stretch of road between Blarachar Bridge and the existing twin track carriageway near the Aberarder Estate.

 North Croachy – At North Croachy, RES extended the twin track carriageway from near Brinmore School Bridge for more than one kilometre to the entrance to Croachy village. This last and most recent part of the works saw the road re-open to traffic on Friday 19 July, with further white lining and verging works fulfilled under traffic lights for the last week of the programme up until Friday 26 July 2013.

 Wind Farm Site Entrance – RES upgraded the existing entrance to the Dunmaglass Wind Farm to improve visibility and allow for the safe delivery of the construction plant and materials with minimal disruption to other road users.

 Passing Places – RES has created 26 new passing places and upgraded existing ones at various locations along the B851 between the A9 turn-off and Dunmaglass Mains. These permanent passing bays will not only minimise disruption during the construction of Dunmaglass Wind Farm, but will also deliver longer term benefits for local residents and road users.

Though bad weather occasionally delayed progress, other works were undertaken far quicker than anticipated; meaning the team was able to use alternative traffic management measures instead of planned closures. As a result, RES’ dedicated construction team, in conjunction with contractor RJ McLeod, has been able to minimise the disruption and complete the full works to schedule.

In May 2013, RES reached agreement to sell Dunmaglass Wind Farm to SSE Renewables, the renewable energy development division of SSE. Their construction team will shortly begin the enabling works for the site and SSE will contact residents in due course with updates on what to expect. SSE Renewables will soon also be operating a notification list to keep the local community informed as the project progresses. If you would like to be included on this mailing list or if you have any questions regarding the imminent enabling works for the wind farm, please contact Marianne Townsley via e-mail (marianne.townsley@sse.com) or via telephone on 01463 728069.

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