A MAJOR section of the A96 at Forres is due to reopen ahead of schedule later this week.
The new raised stretch of the main Inverness to Aberdeen trunk road is being completed as part of the Forres River Findhorn and Pilmuir flood alleviation scheme.
Since March last year, trunk road traffic has been carried along a 650m long diversion while the alignment of the A96 has been raised by several feet.
That will allow drainage channels from the Pilmuir area of Forres to flow underneath the road and directly into the River Findhorn.
Final checks will begin at lunchtime on Thursday to ensure everything is in place to allow traffic to switch to the new section of road by around 3.30pm.
Checks will continue throughout the afternoon and evening, and possibly into Friday, to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Its re-opening will mark another milestone in the scheme’s progress and comes four weeks early.
Councillor George Alexander, who is a Forres councillor and chairs Moray Council’s flood alleviation sub-committee, welcomed the early reopening. "The fact that the stretch of road is reopening four weeks ahead of schedule typifies the excellent progress that is being made on the scheme as a whole," he said.
As part of the roadworks, a new roundabout has been constructed to provide improved access to and from the Greshop industrial estate at its western end.