DRIVERS using the main route between Lanark and Carluke have been told to brace themselves for three months of delays and disruption on the A73.
And, yet again, it will be caused by the stretch between Steels Cross in Lanark and the Nemphlar road-end beyond Cartland Bridge being dug up by a utility company, the latest in a long series of such works to reduce the busy road to one-way traffic over the past few years.
This time it is Scottish Water carrying out what it describes as vital re-lining of the public supply pipes under that stretch of road, the project starting on Monday, September 28 and not scheduled to be completed until the end of the year.
The water company has already apologised in advance for the disruption this will cause but argues that maintaining and improving the quality of the area’s drinking water comes first if it is to meet its responsibilities.
A Scottish Water spokesman said this week: “Around 1.4km of a trunk water main to the north-west of Lanark is to be re-lined, ensuring it can continue to provide customers in the area with high-quality drinking water, well into the future.
“The project is the final part of a wider £4.8 million initiative to upgrade some 45km of water mains in North and South Lanarkshire, helping to provide improved water quality.
“Work begins on Monday, September 28 and is expected to last around 12 weeks.
“The main runs under a section of the A73 and during the work some traffic management will be required. One side of the road will need to be closed with manned, two-way traffic lights in operation.
“The work will take place in phases, with traffic lights moving along the stretch of affected road as the work progresses.”
An explanation and advance apology for the disruption was issued by Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s Community Team manager for Lanarkshire.
He said: “It’s important that the water mains used to move water from our treatment works to customers’ homes and businesses are in the best possible condition so that we can provide continuous, high-quality drinking water well into the future.
“Unfortunately, work of this nature can cause some disruption, particularly when water mains run below busy roads such as the A73.
“Throughout the work, traffic management will be required during the day to ensure the work can be carried out safely and effectively.
“Scottish Water has carefully planned this work, liaising with South Lanarkshire Council to ensure all steps are taken to minimise inconvenience.
“We are grateful to our customers and road users for their patience and understanding.”