Work on three major road schemes in the South of Scotland is now underway.
Transport Minister Keith Brown visited Ayrshire to mark the start of the £36.7 million project that is set to bring significant benefits for drivers and residents alike.
Construction has started on the A77 Symington and Bogend toll improvements in South Ayrshire, as well as two other schemes – A75 Dunragit Bypass and A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount in Dumfries & Galloway.
Brown said: “This Scottish Government is absolutely committed to investing in our transport infrastructure to ensure we make Scotland an attractive place to work and do business, as well as making it an attractive destination for tourists.
“These three projects combined represent a bumper package of investment worth £36.7 million. On completion, the new road improvements will enhance journey time reliability and improve safety on the A75 and A77.
“These will bring real improvements on key routes to and from our the Cairnryan ports, as well as providing better connections across South West Scotland.”
R J McLeod is the contractor for the A77 Symington and A75 Dunragit schemes, while the A75 Hardgrove works will be delivered by McLaughlin & Harvey. All three schemes will be completed in 2014.
The A77 Symington and Bogend toll scheme has a construction cost of £10.6m.
It will improve safety on the A77 by closing central reservations between Spittalhill Interchange and Dutch House roundabout and providing two grade separated junctions.
New road bridges will be built over the A77 at Symington and Bogend Toll between Spittalhill Interchange and Dutch House roundabout.
This is expected to reduce the number and severity of accidents.
The upgrade will benefit the local economy by providing for safer access to and from the A77.
The scheme takes consideration of current planning strategies including potential development opportunities and housing developments along the A77.
The work allows potential future upgrades that will enable the speed limit to increase from 50mph to 70mph at this location.
A75 Dunragit Bypass has a construction cost of £17.13 million.
The scheme will improve journey times and journey time reliability on the A75, which forms part of the Euro-route between Europe, Scotland and UK via the ferry terminals at Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway.
It will provide 5.3km of new carriageway improving safety by increasing the number of guaranteed overtaking opportunities in both directions, reducing driver frustration and the vehicle platooning.
The A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount scheme has a construction cost of £9m.
It will deliver 3.6km of new road with overtaking facilities in both directions. On completion, the scheme will benefit users by improving the journey time reliability and safety on this stretch of road, improve and increase the number of overtaking opportunities and cater better for the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.
By Alec Peachey