Following extensive consultation with local police and Transport Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is advising people to stay away from the A9 through Inverness from 7pm next Saturday night [6 April] until 7am Sunday morning.
However, members of the community will be able to watch this landmark event from the comfort and safety of their own homes. HIE will be streaming regular updates on progress online at the Inverness Campus website.
Construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall has planned the complex installation of the 290 tonne golden pedestrian and cycle bridge for the past twelve months. Concept design of the Golden Bridge was developed by 7N Architects who also master planned the entire campus.
A stretch of the A9 between the Raigmore Interchange and Sir Walter Scott Drive will be closed during these hours to enable HIE's contractors, Morgan Sindall, to install a new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Raigmore estate with the Inverness Campus development.
A short diversion will be in place, taking road traffic between the Raigmore interchange and the Inshes roundabout, via Old Perth Road. To ensure public safety, security will be in place at the site of the new bridge and any would-be spectators will be turned away
The bridge will be transported as a whole structure from its current position on the Inverness Campus site and inched along the A9 before being jacked-up into position. Specialist machinery will be used to to carry the complete bridge, which is 84 metres long and nine metres wide.
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE’s Project Director for Inverness Campus, said: “This is a landmark project for Inverness – the golden bridge will welcome locals and visitors alike when they arrive in the capital of the Highlands."
“It will also link Inverness Campus with the Centre for Health Science, LifeScan Scotland, Raigmore Hospital and the city centre."
"Installing the bridge is a complex civil engineering task, and public safety is a key consideration."
“We understand people may want to come and see the installation but advice from police and transport experts is clear. In the interest of health and safety, the public cannot be permitted on the A9 or the bridge landing on the Raigmore estate."
"By timing the installation overnight from Saturday to Sunday, we hope that any disruption to traffic will be minimal, and the short diversion should only add a minute or two on to most people's journeys."