Re­pairs be­gin at Bal­lat Bridge

Con­cerns over im­pact dur­ing work

Stirling Observer - - PRIMARY ONES - John Row­botham

Work be­gins next week on a 14-week project to re­pair a bridge se­ri­ously dam­aged in a road ac­ci­dent.

Bal­lat Bridge was last Septem­ber hit by the arm of an earth­mover which was on a lorry pass­ing be­neath the struc­ture.

Scot­tish Wa­ter own the bridge which crosses the A81 and car­ries wa­ter mains run­ning from Loch Ka­trine to Glas­gow.

The com­pany say the A81 be­tween Bal­fron Sta­tion and Bal­lat Cross­roads will be closed from Septem­ber 18 for around 14 weeks for the re­pairs.

A di­ver­sion will be in place from the A81/B834 round­about which will di­rect driv­ers via the A811 Stirling Road. Con­trac­tors George Les­lie Ltd are car­ry­ing out the work on be­half of Scot­tish Wa­ter.

Scot­tish Wa­ter’s cor­po­rate af­fairs re­gional man­ager Scott Fraser said the work was es­sen­tial and added: “We have li­aised closely with Stirling Coun­cil while we carry out this im­por­tant work and we will do all we can to com­plete it as quickly as pos­si­ble. We apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience and thank af­fected res­i­dents, road users and the com­mu­nity for their un­der­stand­ing.”

Scot­tish Wa­ter sent out, to di­rectly af­fected homes and busi­nesses, post­cards giv­ing de­tails of the work and di­ver­sion.

Scot­tish Wa­ter’s in­di­ca­tions ear­lier this year that the work would re­quire a three-and-a-half-month clo­sure of the A81 rang alarm bells, par­tic­u­larly in Aber­foyle where com­mu­nity coun­cil­lors were con­cerned about its im­pact on trade and tourism.

Aber­foyle Com­mu­nity Coun­cil spokesman Trevor Ger­aghty told the Ob­server they were anx­ious to stress that the vil­lage was “very much open for busi­ness and vis­i­tors” dur­ing the pe­riod of the road clo­sure.

He added: “There will be no im­pact for vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing via the A811 Stirling road and vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing via the A81 di­ver­sion from Glas­gow di­rec­tion can still be here with ap­prox­i­mately 20 min­utes ex­tra travel time fol­low­ing the sign­posted di­ver­sion. Busi­nesses at the Ai­zle are also open through­out the clo­sure as sign­posted. Vis­i­tors are very wel­come while Scot­tish Wa­ter com­plete this project.”

He urged Scot­tish Wa­ter con­trac­tors and Stirling Coun­cil to en­hance sign­post­ing telling trav­ellers about jour­ney times to min­imise the im­pact on busi­ness and com­muters.

Trossachs and Teith Tory coun­cil­lor Martin Earl ac­knowl­edged it was a “com­plex project” but added: “I am con­cerned at the de­lay in get­ting the work un­der­way as we can­not af­ford to have this im­por­tant road closed in the run up to Fes­tive pe­riod and of course dur­ing the hol­i­days.”

240117CRASH_01

Tan­gle A trucker was charged with care­less driv­ing in Jan­uary af­ter his ve­hi­cle hit scaf­fold­ing put up to pro­tect the bridge fol­low­ing the ear­lier ac­ci­dent

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