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D-Day for Choosing Route for Inverness Trunk Link Road

Issued: 14 Aug 2007

A special meeting of The Highland Council is to be held on Thursday 27 September when councillors will be asked to confirm the preferred route for the Inverness trunk link road, which will link the A 96 at Smithton to the A 9 at Inshes in the first phase of development and link Dores Road through to the A 82 at Torvean in a second phase, via existing stretches of the Southern Distributor Road.

The Council is eager to finalise the line of the link road so that it can submit a bid in October to Transport Scotland for inclusion in the Strategic Transport Projects Review. The estimated cost will be in excess of £100 million.

The Council has already decided that the eastern section of the road should be built first to ease traffic congestion and permit development, such as the UHI Millennium Institute campus at Beechwood Farm, with construction earmarked between 2010 and 2012. This would see traffic taken off-line from a new roundabout at Smithton to a new roundabout at Inshes and include a new access to the A 9.

Construction of the western link from Dores Road to a new roundabout on the A 82 at General Booth Road is timetabled between 2012 and 2015. This will involve the crossing of River Ness by bridge and either a high level opening bridge or an aqueduct /tunnel to cross the Caledonian Canal.

Consulting engineers, Scott Wilson, who have been engaged to carry out the Inverness Connectivity Study, and Council transport officials will be recommending the preferred route following stakeholder consultations over the next month.

In the timetable, it is proposed that that finalised conceptual design will be ready by June, next year; a planning application be submitted in July, next year and the outcome of the application for funding from Transport Scotland be known in August, next year.

The construction of a new golf course at Charleston, to replace Torvean Golf Club, is timetabled for 2008/9.

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