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Holm Road closure expected until end of the week

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) is appealing to members of the public to keep clear of the road closure at Highland Park and observe safety barriers in place.

The A961 Holm Road remains closed from between Heathery Loan and Easdale Loan following damage to overhead structures at the Highland Park Distillery on Sunday morning.

Immediately following the incident, the council’s on-call structural engineer was called in by OIC’s roads team to assess the need for road closures given that the damaged structure crossed a carriageway. As a result of that assessment it’s been determined the road will need to remain closed to all vehicles and pedestrians until the overhead gantry, which suffered extensive damage, is removed.

Contractors are currently assessing how this can be done safely but indications at this stage are that motorists should expect closures will remain in place until the end of this week.

A signed diversion is now in place via the B9052 to Toab and the Airport (A960).

OIC’s corporate director of neighbourhood services and infrastructure, Hayley Green, said: “There was a real team effort from everyone involved from police and fire crews, our own roads, property and engineering staff, Highland Park management and staff, and a number of local contractors who attended to provide the necessary advice on isolation of services to reduce further complications and get the area closed off.

“We’d stress the that until the removal works are complete members of the public should not venture beyond the road closed signs to attempt a closer look – there are also physical pedestrian barriers in place on both sides and these should not be crossed.

“The current state of the overhead structures does present a risk, and once works start there will again be significant hazards such as heavy machinery in action. Barriers and fencing are there for very good reason and we urge everyone to observe them and keep well clear, as for any work site.”

“We’d remind motorists during this initial period of road closure to please be respectful if they take alternate routes through residential areas, and to be mindful of the single lane nature of some of those and the delays this will involve.

“Along with Police Scotland colleagues we thank everyone in advance for their patience and continued care on the roads while this necessary closure is in place.”