Diverting prospect

A year-long diversion of the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road is in place at Forres to clear the way for a flood alleviation scheme.

The £900,000, 800-metre long diversion is being made to allow work on the £45m flood project. During the diversion a section of the A96 will be dismantled and rebuilt three metres higher to accommodate a defensive bund.
In addition to the raising of the road, pipes, culverts, a flood defence embankment and a ‘grout curtain’ will be installed. The curtain is a subterranean vertical wall that stops or reduces underground water flow. The grout is injected into the ground to fill the voids between the granular soils.
Once those elements have been constructed, the A96 will be replaced on its current alignment and a new roundabout will be constructed.
Project manager Barbara Hellett said the diversion is opening a month early because the programme had moved ahead of schedule but that the length of time that construction work will take is “notoriously difficult” to predict because of bad weather, materials procurement, and the time taken by utility companies to divert their infrastructure.