Major road repairs planned for A939 at Strathdon

Aberdeenshire Council is planning to carry out essential road repairs on the A939 Strathdon to Tomintoul Road between Corgarff and the Lecht later this month.

The areas of road surface requiring repair are located on sections of the road that are particularly narrow in width with tight corners and therefore, in order to protect the safety of road users and the workforce on site, the road will have to be temporarily closed for up to three weeks during the works.

The road is very well used by locals and tourists and threrefore the work has been timed before the main tourist season gets fully underway with work starting on Monday, June 20.

Work is being carried out in between the Corgarff and Tomintoul Highland Games in order to minimise the impact on these popular local events.

The work involves the excavation of badly damaged areas of road surface over more than half of the width of the road, replacing this with new surfacing materials and overlaying areas where the road surface is badly out of shape with new surfacing.

As part of the planned work the road will also be widened at a tight bend where the surface is badly damaged. This will reduce the risk of any future repairs at this location requiring a further road closure.

The work has been planned so that the initial closure should only be in place from Monday, 20 June, until the end of the working day on Friday, 24 June. 

Provided that there are no unforeseen delays the road will be re-opened to traffic for the weekend of 25 and 26 June, although it is likely that there will be temporary traffic lights in place. 

The road will have to close again on Monday, 27 June, but the intention is that this will only be between 09:00 and 16:00 and that the works should be complete on Friday, 1 July. 

The council has formally put in place a temporary traffic order allowing the road closure over the full three week period in case of any unforeseen difficulties. The nature and the extent of the works means that night time working will not be possible.

There will be a signed diversion in place via the A944 and A97 to Mossat and Huntly, the A96 then the A920 to Dufftown and the B9009 and B9009 to Tomintoul.

Local residents are asked to note that one of the polling stations for the forthcoming EU referendum on 23 June is located within the section of road to be closed.  However, voters displaying their polling cards will be allowed access to the polling station and will be guided through the closed section by Aberdeenshire Council site personnel. 

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, Philip McKay, said: “If the work can be completed in a shorter timescale then the road will be re-opened sooner but the work is very weather dependent, in an isolated location. 

“We are also taking the chance to carry out some other programmed maintenance work to bridges and drainage, avoiding further road closures in the near future.

“The closure of this route, whenever it takes place, will cause inconvenience and delays, but we know it’s important to keep it open as much as possible for the rest of the year and in a good condition. Carrying out the work now gives the best chance of completing it in the shortest possible time. 

“We apologise for any inconvenience, but we will do everything possible to ensure that repairs are carried out in the shortest possible timescale. We appreciate that the closure adds considerably to journey times between Speyside and Deeside / Donside, but this is an unfortunate consequence of roads in remote areas.”

Advance warning signs will be placed at all the major junctions where drivers have to make decisions about their routes.

Information about road closures and restrictions is available on Aberdeenshire Council’s website: http://bit.ly/1OG7bbo