6th September 2012
Council to defer bridge works to minimise disruption
Shetland Islands Council were due to start work on the replacement of Laxaburn Bridge on the west side on 10th September 2012 for a period of up to 16 weeks. However, due to a number of representations received from the local community about the length of time the works would take, and the length of the diversion route during the winter months, the Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services met with local Councillors and the Chair of Environment and Transport andit was agreed that the works should be deferred until next year. Consultation will be undertaken with the Community Council over the timing of the works to minimise the inevitable disruption that these bridge replacement works will cause.
The council will also look at options for combining the works with the proposed replacement of the Effirth bridge. This would causeonly one period of disruption for the local community, and deliver both projects as cost-effectively as possible.
Phil Crossland, the Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services said: “These works were originally planned for this summer, but due to delays in finalising the design and contract they had slipped till September. The works are a priority, if the bridge is to remain open to traffic without restrictions. However, we have listened to the concerns of our communities and have taken the decision to delay the works until better weather, and to look at coordinating with the Effirth Bridge replacement scheme. Any bridge replacement scheme on our single track road network will inevitably be disruptive to local communities, but our aim is always to minimise that level of disruption within the available resources. We have considered alternate designs for replacing these bridges off the current road alignment, but unfortunately in the current economic climate such additional expenditure cannot be justified. We will work together with transport providers to minimise the effect these works will have on school and public transport.”