MOST HEAVY traffic associated with the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm and the converter station at Kergord has now moved to the new Sandwater road, SSE Renewable has confirmed.
The new double-track road, built by RJ McLeod and Shetland contractors, runs parallel to the existing B9075 Sandwater road.
A temporary bridge has been placed over the Burn of Pettawater while a permanent bridge is built next to it.
Beams for the permanent bridge, weighing 43 tonnes each, were placed into position using a large crane hired from Hugh Simpson Contractors in Wick.
Remedial work is planned for the old road and bridge, built in 1938, SSE Renewables said.
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.”
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 company said.
The Leca fill is made from fired natural clay and is 85 per cent lighter than traditional road materials.
The new road will not be tarred until around when the wind farm construction is completed in 2023/24. 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.
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