A9 Kessock Bridge Resurfacing

Project Summary: 
Resurfacing and repair of bridge deck
North West
Other Details: 
Kessock Bridge

The Kessock Bridge opened to traffic in 1982. It is a cable stayed bridge and carries the A9 dual carriageway trunk road across the Beauly Firth at Inverness.

The traffic flow over the bridge is approximately 30,000 vehicles per day.

The bridge has a 1,052m long continuous steel deck superstructure with a 240m main span, carrying two lanes of traffic each direction. The bridge also includes footways / cycleways.

The structure is supported on concrete columns with cutwater plinths at sea level and concrete abutments at either end of the bridge.

Situated over the two main piers, twin 45m high single cell welded steel box pylons, support the deck superstructure by means of steel wire cables.

Why is it needed?

Transport Scotland will be carrying out essential works to the Kessock Bridge in order to ensure its reliable service for the next 30 years.

The road surface on the bridge has reached the end of its maintainable life and the need for ad-hoc repairs is increasingly disruptive to traffic. It is now necessary to intervene and resurface the bridge in its entirety, thereby saving motorists time lost to roadworks.

A map showing the bridge location

What is involved?

Specialist contractors will:

  • Remove the existing road surface
  • Repair any defects to the bridge steel deck plate
  • Apply waterproofing to bridge steel deck plate
  • Resurface both carriageways

At the same time, we will take the opportunity to:

  • Replace the bridge deck expansion joints
  • Replace the lighting columns
  • Replace the vehicle barriers in the central reserve and footways
  • Increase the height of the existing parapets so they are cycleway compliant
  • Resurface the footways and cycleways
  • Re-stress the cables on the bridge

How much will it cost?


What stage is it at?

Phase 1 of the works tackled the northbound carriageway and was completed in July 2013.

Phase 2 to repair the southbound carriageway will commence on 10 February 2014 lasting for 20 weeks.

The works are being undertaken by the contractor Balfour Beatty. The phasing of these works was programmed to avoid disruption to peak tourist traffic in July and August.

How will it affect me?

The works represent a significant investment by Transport Scotland.

Given the nature and scale of works we need to consider the ways to minimise disruption to bridge users. To assist with peak time traffic congestion a series of advanced road and traffic improvements were constructed.

These included:

  • The signalisation of junctions on the A82 and A9
  • Improvements to Longman Roundabout
  • Additional carriages on trains and buses at peak times
  • Southbound HGV/ Bus lane on the A9
  • Additional car parking provision at railway stations
  • The construction and reopening of Conon Bridge Railway Station

Transport Scotland continues to consult with key stakeholders including The Highland Council; HITRANS; Network Rail; ScotRail; Bus Operators; and Scottish Canals.

For phase 2 of the works a contraflow traffic management system will be used to keep traffic running on the bridge.

Traffic will run one lane in either direction on the northbound carriageway, while the works are completed on the southbound carriageway. You should allow extra time for your journey or consider using an alternative form of public transport. Active travel such as cycling or walking is also being encouraged.

Advance information will be available on the Traffic Scotland website and through both local and national media. Variable Message Signs on the trunk road network will provide up-to-date information during the works to advise of any delays.

What is being done to reduce the environmental impact?

The environmental impact will be minimal as the works are confined mainly to the bridge. Control measures will be put in place to protect the local environment. Are there any other online legal documents / public notices relating to this project? A Notice of Determination and Marine License has been published for this scheme.


For more information please contact:

Trunk Roads & Bus Operations (TRBO)
Transport Scotland
Buchanan House
58 Port Dundas Road
G4 0HF

Telephone: 0141 272 7100
Email: info@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk