Work on flood prevention measures in a north-east town have resumed after being halted due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Aberdeenshire Council has announced preparatory works on the Stonehaven Flood Prevention Scheme restarted today.
Contractors McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd halted work in March in light of advice from the Scottish Government regarding construction sites.
Aberdeenshire Council’s principal engineer for major projects, Rachel Kennedy, said: “The contractors will initially be bringing a small number of personnel onto the site who will be erecting signage and making adaptations to welfare units and offices.
“In due course, additional personnel will join them to restart the pumping equipment on site and to make general site preparations to enable construction works to commence as the Scottish Government phases permit.”
The scheme is designed to protect homes and businesses which have previously been affected by flooding around the River Carron.
Premises will receive a level of protection well above the current standard required by the Association of British Insurers, and the flood risk will be reduced at 372 homes, two public utility sites, a school and an emergency service site.
It was due to completed next spring – but the timetable for the works will be amended as a result of the temporary shutdown.
Ms Kennedy added: “Once completed, the Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme will provide a 0.5% chance of occurrence standard of protection or a one in 200-year flood event.
“It will also include an allowance for climate change – a 33% increase to 2080 – and a safety margin catering for uncertainties.”
Since works began in March 2019, works have included the construction of walls, embankments, culverts and alterations to five bridges.
Rachel said: “We understand that this scheme has had a major impact on the lives of many residents and businesses.
“We appreciate that there has been disruption in terms of road, bridge and footpath closures – some of which have been extended by necessity – but the scale and complexity of this engineering project cannot be underestimated.
“Obviously there has been a significant delay as a result of the lockdown, however once completed, the flood protection scheme will give the Stonehaven community peace of mind for decades to come and I would like to thank all those affected by the works for their ongoing support and understanding.”