Concerns over traffic queues and noise have emerged over eight-month long renovation work on Stirling’s Forth railway viaduct between Bridgehaugh and Riverside.
The Lovers Walk road at Riverside will be closed to traffic from Monday, January 10 until Friday, September 2 and diversions will be in place via Forth Street, Riverside.
A traffic management system will also be installed on Causewayhead Road.
Network Rail’s schedule will involve dayshift (7am-5pm), evening (5pm-2am) and nightshift (10pm-8am) work.
A Riverside resident said this week: “Lovers Walk is busy, particularly at school run times, and is one of only three routes out of Riverside so there will be a gnashing of teeth among drivers.
“And there’s sure to be added congestion at the Shore Road/Goosecroft Road junction.
“A further element is work will be taking place during the night. People living near the viaduct who have put up with the night time noise and disruption accompanying rail electrification will not be looking forward to another lengthy period of unsettled sleep.”
The £2.7m programme will involve repainting and repairing the structure – also known as the Caledonian Railway Bridge – which was built in 1905 to replace an earlier railway bridge.
In a letter to residents in the area, dated December 1, Network Rail point out that they will be closing Lovers Walk to set up a compound and offload area and to access the viaduct from the south side.
The Causewayhead traffic management system will allow for the unloading of plant and materials from large delivery wagons.
Access on the north side of the viaduct will be through Stirling County RFC and the Forthside Allotments’ car park.
The letter continues: ‘While some noise from our works is inevitable, we will do all we can to minimise noise impact, including using acoustic barrier and hand tools, instead of power tools where possible.’
Riverside Community Council chairperson Joan Murphy said this week: “The community council appreciates the importance of keeping public transport networks in good order, but also recognises that there will be inevitable inconvenience to drivers exiting Riverside, especially at school times.
“Riverside Community Council continues to work hard on Active Travel measures and is relieved that the footpath [at Lovers Walk] is being retained [during the work].”
Network Rail project manager Allison Flanagan said last week: “While we understand that a road closure and traffic management system is never ideal and can add time to journeys, we need to have these measures in place to allow the project to be completed in the safest and most efficient way.”
A Stirling Council spokesperson said this week: “The council will monitor the situation at Forth Place/Shore Road when Lovers Walk closes and, if necessary, introduce changes to signal timing at Forth Place/Goosecroft Road to avoid any unnecessary delays.
“We would urge parents and guardians to be aware of possible delays during the period and allow extra time.
“Network Rail have indicated that pedestrian access will be maintained via a diverted footpath on Lovers Walk.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said the work on the bridge would not interrupt rail services, adding: “This type of refurbishment can usually be done around services.”
A Network Rail online public information event will take place on Tuesday, December 14 when members of the public can ask questions.
Slots can be booked by visiting https://scotlandsrailway.com/projects/forth-viaduct/events