Repairs begin at Ballat Bridge
Concerns over impact during work
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.”
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