Road blasting warning at Berriedale
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Transport Scotland has announced that blasting work is planned next week at Berriedale Braes.
A new road is being constructed and rock has been removed over the summer using conventional methods such as "dozing, ripping and pecking".
A major concern was to ensure there was minimal disturbance to a nearby coastal bird colony during breeding season.
But, say Transport Scotland, blasting is now required to remove the final areas of harder rock. Three blasts will take place.
Transport Scotland project manager Kevin Knox said: "The project ecologist has confirmed that all of the fulmars that were nesting have left the area, giving the green light for the contractor to blast the final areas of harder rock."
A single rock blast will be carried out between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday September 24; Thursday October 3 and Tuesday October 15.
The spokesman said: "Traffic on the A9 will be held either side of the proposed rock blasting works for a period no longer than 15 minutes to ensure the safety of road users during and after each blast.
"On confirmation that the road is clear (of debris), traffic will be permitted to continue along the A9."
Prior to and immediately after the blast, access to the blasting area will be restricted to authorised site staff only.
Sentries will be positioned on all access routes and other locations to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic access to maintain a safe working area.
Mr Knox said: “The blasting work to remove the final seam of harder rock will see our contractor complete this phase of the work allowing them to continue the construction of the new road.
"This is a key construction stage to removing the hairpin bend at Berriedale Braes.
"The temporary measures being put in place for the blasting work are precautionary to ensure the health and safety of the public. The contractor will endeavour to carry out this work as efficiently as possible to minimise the delay and we would ask for the cooperation of the public during this time.”
This work will go ahead unless particularly adverse weather is anticipated.
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