April 9, 2024

Before and after images of the A9 Ralia junction

In the first quarter of 2024, BEAR Scotland completed a range of infrastructure enhancements on the North West trunk road network, supported by a combined investment of £22 million from Transport Scotland.

In addition to proactive improvements, BEAR Scotland continued to support communities through a challenging winter by responding to the aftermath of storms and reinforcing vital infrastructure on the network.


Some £3.0m million was invested in North West bridges. Expansion joints were replaced on the A82 Kiachnish Bridge, and investigations were carried out at the A835 Black Bridge ahead of a future deck refurbishment scheme. Repairs were also done at the A835 Loch Garve, A86 Allt A Ghaill and A85 Gilmerton.

Additionally, at the A9 Tummel Bridge at the off slip near Pitlochry and the historic Aray Bridge on the A83 at Inverary, scour damage caused by storms in October necessitated urgent repairs, which are still ongoing to safeguard the bridges’ structural integrity. The work at Pitlochry involved close collaboration with local stakeholders, such as farmers requiring continued access to nearby fields.

Road safety

Road safety is a priority for BEAR and Transport Scotland and reflecting this, nearly £1.3m was invested. New road markings and road studs improved visibility at the A9 from Faskally to Killiecrankie and Drumochter to Crubenmore, the A9 south of Munlochy and the A835 at Garve. A bend warning and chevron signs were installed at the A828 Appin House. New safety barriers will add to road users’ safety at the A83 Cromalt Nor, the A83 shoreline and the A9 Milton of Leys, where new traffic signs were also installed.

Minor Improvements

Ambitious enhancements began along the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful local diversion route, known as the Old Military Road. BEAR Scotland is realigning the southern segment of the route on behalf of Transport Scotland, mitigating flood risks to bolster resilience until a long-term solution for the Rest and Be Thankful area is implemented. Drainage works with a value of £130,000 were completed at the Rest and Be Thankful.

Routine and Roads Structural Maintenance

An investment of £382,000 enhanced a 1700m stretch of the A828 south of Highland Boundary, street lighting was upgraded at the A83 Tarbet to Arrochar and £22,000 was invested in the entrance to Lochearnhead village on the A85. Six new signs were installed on the way into the village, helping enforce the new 20mph speed limit.

Roads across the North West were resurfaced to make them more durable in bad weather, smoother and safer, with significant projects at the A83 Arrochar and Cairndow, the A9 from Alness to Tomich (this saw a 1086m stretch resurfaced with an investment of over £1 million) and the A828 Achona Croft.

In January, an emergency situation unfolded on the A82 near Drumnadrochit, where three landslides blocked the road. Despite the simultaneous occurrence of multiple events, BEAR teams adeptly managed the crisis through effective collaboration with partners GeoRope and Jacobs, implementing mitigation measures to restore traffic flow promptly. This included clearing drains and also installing mesh and geonet following the events.

It was also a busy time for the landscaping team, and BEAR Scotland’s collaboration with contractors Ayrshire Trees yielded significant progress in addressing various challenges, including ash dieback, storm-damaged trees, and general vegetation management. As spring approaches, the team anticipates undertaking grass cutting and other seasonal tasks to further enhance road safety.