Albert Street in Kirkwall will reopen to traffic on Monday afternoon (March 4).
The street has been closed to traffic whilst repaving work was carried out across the junction of Albert Street and Broad Street.
Works will now move to the front of The Reel and the adjoining car park – the car park will be closed at points during this work. This is then followed by the area in front of the Clydesdale Bank mid to late March.
Works will also be getting underway on the new path to the war memorial shortly. During the work the footpath adjacent to the cemetery will be closed as will the adjoining cemetery gate.
To provide space for the contractors to carry out the work in safety, a temporary one-way system will remain in place throughout in the top half of Castle Street, between the exit from the car park and the junction with Broad Street. A one-way system is also be in place in Broad Street. Drivers can turn into Castle Street from Junction Road and on into Broad Street. But vehicles do not have access from Palace Road into Broad Street. A signed diversion via Clay Loan is in place. In addition, vehicles cannot turn into Castle Street from Albert Street – but can drive on into Broad Street.
This initial phase of the project is due for completion early May after which works will be suspended for the main summer season. Work will move to the entrance to Victoria Street in the autumn, with work being suspended again in December for Christmas shopping season.
The works are part of the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative’s Places and Spaces project which aims to:
The Places and Spaces initiative was developed alongside community groups such as the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council and the Kirkwall BID who identified key areas of the town where it was felt improvements could be made. Proposed improvements were the positively received by the Orkney community during a two day consultation period, where 68% of those who attended said they supported the proposals, 18% were against and the rest were undecided.
The Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative is a five year heritage-based grant scheme which seeks to deliver sustainable improvements to the built heritage of the Kirkwall Conservation Area, in an effort to regenerate the centre of Kirkwall for the benefit of local communities and businesses, as well as to attract visitors. The scheme has been running since July 2014 and will conclude in June. It's primarily funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The streetscape improvements have also received additional funding from Transport Scotland, through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links Fund.