• Home
  • News
  • Construction traffic moves over to new Sandwater Road

Construction traffic moves over to new Sandwater Road

March 19th 2021
A heavy-lift crane brought in from Wick lifts a beam for the permanent bridge over the Burn of Pettawater

Lorries and other heavy vehicles involved in building Viking Wind Farm and the HVDC Convertor Station at Kergord are moving over to the newly built road at Sandwater, easing traffic on the old B9075 Sandwater Road.

The new double-track road built by RJ McLeod and Shetland contractors came into use on schedule on Monday following the placing of a temporary bridge over the Burn of Pettawater.

At the weekend, a crane from Hugh Simpson Contractors, which can lift up to 500 tonnes, finished placing the concrete beams for the permanent bridge in preparation for it coming into use in the coming months.

The beams, weighing up to 43 tonnes, were precast in Banagher, Ireland, and shipped up from Waterford to the Peterson base in Lerwick before being transported to site using extended articulated lorries. The importing and installation of the bridge was organised by Petersons.

For a short while there will be three bridges in parallel across the burn until the temporary bridge is removed.

Job completed by the Liebherr LTM1500 and crew

Meanwhile, remedial work is planned for the old road and brig, built in 1938, which have stood up well structurally to the increased heavy traffic since June last year when work began on building the Kergord access track. Repairs were required to replace one of the old bridge parapets, while the other parapet is in line for some repointing along with other minor tidying up work along the old road.

The new road will carry HGVs and most other construction-related traffic heading to and from the western and Mid Kame sections of the wind farm and the SSEN Transmission site at Upper Kergord.

Viking Energy Wind Farm spokesman Aaron Priest said: “We’re pleased to see the new Sandwater Road reach this important initial milestone and to be able to move our construction traffic from the old B-road, which will now be tidied up. We would like to thank other road users for their patience over the past few months.”

The sides of the new road are being reinstated and landscaped
Some sections of the new road are floated, avoiding the need to dig away deep peat. For the first time on a public road in Shetland, a special lightweight aggregate has been used to help ensure the effectiveness of the floating sections. The Leca fill is made from fired natural clay and is 85% lighter than traditional road materials.

The new road will not be tarred until around the time that wind farm construction is completed in 2023/24 when it will be surfaced, white-lined and handed over to Shetland Islands Council for public use. A short section of the old road by the loch is likely to be kept for recreational purposes at the request of the council and the Shetland Outdoor Access Forum.