£1.6 million spend on Islay, Jura and Colonsay infrastructure during 2019

Published Date: 

22 May 2019 - 13:47

Overall spend on roads, lighting, piers and harbours capital investment on Islay and Jura will be in the region of £1.6 million during 2019-20.

Over 1000 tonnes of bituminous surfacing material will be used to resurface roads and footways on the islands. Where possible, local materials are being sourced for surfacing and repairs. This brings financial benefits to the local economy, saving money on haulage and freeing up valuable space on local ferries.

£643,000 has been allocated for a capital expenditure on roads programmes that include:

  • Re-shaping and surface dressing of the A846 between Port Askaig – Ballygrant between April and July 2019

  • Re-shaping and surface dressing of the A847 between Bluehouses – Crosshouse between April and July 2019;

  • Surface dressing  of a short section of the A847 north of Bruichladdich between April and July 2019;

  • Surfacing of the Emmeraconnart Corner on the A846, as well as removing depressions to the north of the corner, in May 2019;

  • Surfacing of the A846 Bowmore corner during May 2019;

  • Surfacing at Caol Ila during May and August 2019;

  • Retread surfacing of the A846 north of Ardfin during June 2019;

  • Strengthening and surfacing the A846 south of Leorin in August/September 2019;

  • Edge strengthening the A846 at Laphroaig in Summer/Autumn 2019;

  • Localised surfacing of the A846 on the Ardmenish Flats in Summer 2019;

  • Localised surfacing of the Killinallan Road in Summer 2019; and

  • Localised resurfacing on Colonsay in Spring 2019.

Funds have also been allocated to resurface footways in Port Charlotte and Port Ellen with slurry sealing. 

In Port Askaig, the Rockfall netting has been installed over the last few months and is due to be complete this month. Work has started on the pedestrian crossing repairs and this will be completed later in the financial year. There will also be surfacing of the mustering area and slipway areas along with signage improvements made this financial year.

There is significant investment in flood protection, with phase one of the Antrim View flood protection scheme, to increase the capacity of the culvert, already complete. Phase two, to extend the improvements upstream of the intake, will be delivered later in the year. Works are planned to improve flood protection on Frederick Crescent later in the financial year. This involves gullies and non-return valves being installed in the seawall.

Coastal protection works are being carried out over the current year in Loch Indaal and Sound of Islay.

An investment of £140,000 will be made in street lighting, starting with Port Charlotte Street lighting, with the continuation of replacement lighting columns and LEDs between June and August 2019. This work will be programmed so as minimise the disruption during the summer months. These works include footway improvements to maximise the benefit of the project. Once this is complete, attention will turn to street lighting works in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss.

Councillor Roddy McCuish, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “This is a significant amount of investment for Islay and Jura. Such is the nature and process of the work, it often has to be carried out in stages. All this work is being done over and above the usual busy programme of routine maintenance carried out across the year. We are building up our team on Islay and Jura, but cannot do everything at once so would ask local residents to bear with us.”

Robin Currie, chair of MAKI Area Committee added: “I welcome what is a substantial programme of work for our islands, supported by a high level of investment. I would like to thank all those hard workers involved in delivering the work, on a day-to-day basis and for these special projects.”

Note to journalist:

Surface dressing process and benefits

Surface dressing treatments are cost effective and play a key role in maintaining the road network. In restoring the road condition, surface dressing improves road texture to reduce the risk of skidding as well as protecting it from damage from water and frost.

First, the road is locally reshaped to improve drainage, then it is sprayed with bitumen binder and followed up by spreading a layer of stone chips. Some designs involve multiple layers of binder/chip. These stone chippings are then pressed into the surface using a roller vehicle. Excessive chippings are removed after the binder has had time to fully set and normally a further sweeping is carried out after traffic has had time to complete the initial compaction of the treatment. 

Road markings can only be reinstated after sweeping of the road surface has been completed and the weather conditions are suitable.

Slurry sealing process and benefits.

Footway slurry sealing is a mix of bitumen emulsion, aggregate and additives to create a cold laid mixture. This mixture takes time to set after laying, during this period the surface is typically brown in colour and the binder can stick to footwear. While the affected area will be cordoned off, extra care should be taken with pets and children to minimise the risk of this affecting property. If the works are immediately outside properties, access may be affected while the surface sets. The roadworkers on site will assist, wherever possible, if residents need access during this time.

On Islay, slurry sealing is typically being used on older, rougher sections of footway that are most susceptible to damage from water ingress and frost action. By sealing footways in this condition it saves higher maintenance costs in the future by slowing down deterioration.