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A82/Loch Ness

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A82
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (45)
From:  Fort Augustus
To:  Inverness
Via:  Drumnadrochit
Distance:  32 miles (51.5 km)
Meets:  A887, A831, B861, A862, A9
Former Number(s):  B848
Old route now:  B861
Highway Authorities

Transport Scotland

Counties

Inverness-shire

Route outline (key)
A82 Fort Augustus - Inverness

South | Inverness

The current route along the western shore of Loch Ness was chosen by Telford in the early nineteenth century to connect the villages and communities together. He also did some improvement works to Wade's road on the opposite shore. Today, the road appears almost unchanged in places, but further investigation along the banks of Scotland's most famous loch may yet yield more information on the history of the northern end of the A82.

Route

Military Road

Starting at Fort Augustus, the military road ran east across the southern end of Loch Ness roughly along the alignment of the B862 as far as Glendoebeag. Much of this section of the road has been heavily improved for the recent Hydro scheme in Glen Doe. The minor road passing through Ardachy may also have been built by General Wade, to prevent the need for through traffic to detour into Fort Augustus.

Beyond Glendoebeag, the B862 sticks much more faithfully to Wade's route. The road climbs past Loch Tarff and over the hill into Stratherrick. Just before Whitebridge, however, a minor road turns left to follow the river to Dell Lodge. From here, a track continues to Dell Farm, and then a rougher track into the forest. The River Foyers is finally bridged just outside the village of Foyers, where the B852 is joined. This straighter route, requiring fewer large bridges is almost certainly Wade's route, although further investigation is required.

From Foyers, the B852 and then B862 show the route of the military road along the shore of Loch Ness and so through Dores into Inverness. However, as Inverness is approached the OS also mark another road, running past Loch Ashie as 'General Wade's Military Road'. Quite why two parallel routes were built is currently a mystery!

Telford's Road

Telford constructed what is basically the current route of the A82 along Loch Ness, which is referred to in regular government reports in the early 19th century as the "Fort Augustus Road" (Fort Augustus - Invermoriston) and the "Invermorriston Road" (Invermoriston - Drumnadrochit - Lochend). The principal reason for taking a completely different line is that the west side of Loch Ness is more built up, and Telford wanted to connect all the communities together. Also, although it includes more river crossings, it avoids the very steep side of Loch Ness south of Foyers which necessitated the long climb on the military road between Fort Augustus and the summit south of Whitebridge. Work on the road started in 1805, and was supposed to only take a few years, but dragged on into the 1810s due to various problems with contractors abandoning the scheme. Most of it was complete by 1810, aside from a few odds and ends such as the Invermoriston Bridge in 1813.

Little or no evidence remains to suggest anything other than the current alignment on most of the route along Loch Ness side - certainly the MOT mapping of the area (the base of which derives from late 19th century OS mapping) puts the alignment of the A82 between Fort William and Tomnahurich Street almost exactly where it is today. The main deviation is in Fort Augustus where the current bridge over the River Oich is 200m or so upstream of the old timber bridge (which is now very dilapidated), and on the north side of the village where the minor road loop by Bunoich is the original A82. At a couple of places along Loch Ness-side, old bridges over burns can still be seen above the current line, at at some points, especially north of Invermoriston, the remains of the old road can be easily spotted below the current road when travelling south by bus. Also there are various tracks through forestry which may yet prove to be an old alignment when fully investigated.

1930s Route

As with further south, major widening and straightening works probably happened.

The A82 north of Invermoriston, one of the few sections to be widened

In the 1930s, the bridges at Invermoriston, Lewiston and Drumnadrochit were all replaced. While the causeway section across Loch Dochfour at the northern end of Loch Ness might be thought to date from this time, in fact it is shown by the OS 6-inch map of approximately 1900 to be the original road, and the mature trees along the side of the embankment could easily be well over 100 years old.

Modern Route

There is one major improvement from more recent times (probably early to mid 1980s; certainly before 1987) near Aultsigh where a mile or so has been widened and straightened, giving a rare overtaking opportunity. There is also a smaller, and somewhat older, realignment just south of Inverness. In Inverness itself, however, there have been big changes (see next section).

Inverness

The route taken by the A82 through Inverness has varied considerably since 1982. The original 1922 route terminated at a three-way junction with the A88 and A9 at the junction of Glenurquhart Road and Telford Road just south of the city centre, and this situation remained static until 1934 when the only change was that the A9 was extended over the A88. Move forward to 1982, however, and the opening of the Kessock Bridge. This saw the A9 re-routed across the new bridge and so out of the city. The old route mostly became the A862, but the section through Inverness was part of an extended A82. A one-way circuit in the town centre round Bank Street, Friars Lane, Academy Street, High Street and Bridge Street (known as the "magic roundabout") may already have been introduced on the then A9.

From the old terminus, the A82 was extended across the river and in to the city centre. At first it followed the old A9 route to Millburn Road, and was extended over a very short section of the former A96 east of Millburn Roundabout and an equally short stretch of new build to meet the new A9 at the Raigmore Interchange. The first phase of the Eastgate Shopping Centre was opened in January 1983, causing the A82 (one-way westbound) be slightly realigned and pass underneath the new building, as Crown Road now does (two-way). In 1990 High Street was pedestrianised and the remainder of the magic roundabout reverted to two-way. This is now part of the B862 and B865.

Friars Bridge was built in 1986, initially unclassified, and the dual carriageway along Longman Road completed in the next few years, with the A82 being diverted to this route when the new dual carriageway bridge over the railway was completed in about 1990. Longman Road partially predates the new bridges, as it was originally constructed as an extension to Rose Street providing access to the industrial areas north of the railway line. Its previous number was B865.

Bridges

Fort Augustus Bridge

The Bridge at Fort Augustus

Main Article: Fort Augustus Bridge

The New bridge at Fort Augustus was built in 1934 to replace a timber bridge built as a hasty replacement over 100 years before...

The Old Bridge at Invermoriston

Invermoriston Bridge

Main Article: Invermoriston Bridge

As with so many of the bridges on the A82, the current bridge stands alongside the old structure, now badly damaged at one end, but still spanning the river as it did in Telford's day.

Borlum Bridge

Borlum Bridge

Main Article: Borlum Bridge

At the southern end of Lewiston, the Borlum Bridge is a single-span Concrete structure across the River Coiltie dating from 1933. The old bridge was slightly further upstream.

Drumnadrochit Bridge

Drumnadrochit Bridge

Main Article: Drumnadrochit Bridge

A mile to the north, the bridge in Drumnadrochit was only widened in 1933.

Ness Bridge

Main Article: Ness Bridge

The current bridge across the River Ness used by the A82 is a dual carriageway concrete structure.

South | Inverness

A82/Loch Ness
Related Pictures
View gallery (45)
A82 P&R sign - Coppermine - 9508.jpgA82 information sign - Coppermine - 5744.jpgA82-drum-br1.jpgA82-drum-br2.jpgInvermoriston-old-br2.jpg
Features of the A82 Corridor
Route HistoryA82Great Western Road • Loch Lomond • Glen Falloch • Srathfillan • Rannoch Moor • Glencoe • Ballachulish - Fort William • Fort William - Fort Augustus • Loch Ness
Associated Routes: A805 • A829 • A876 • A8005 • B810 • B848 • B863 • B8040
CrossingsErskine Bridge • Dumbarton Bridge • Balloch Bridge • Luss Bridge • White Bridge • Ba Bridge • Kingshouse Bridge • The Study • Achnambeithach Bridge • Ballachulish Bridge • Righ Bridge • Corran Ferry • Kiachnish Bridge • Nevis Bridge • Lochybridge • Caledonian Canal Swing Bridges • Invergarry Bridge • Bridge of Oich • Fort Augustus Bridge • Invermoriston Bridge
JunctionsCharing Cross • Anniesland Cross • Kilbowie Roundabout • Old Kilpatrick • Dunglas Roundabout • Dumbarton Fork • Barloan Toll • Lomondgate Roundabout • Renton Junction • Stoneymollan Roundabout • Arden • Tarbet • Crianlarich • Tyndrum • Bridge of Orchy • Glencoe Crossroads • Ballachulish Roundabout • North Ballachulish • Corran Ferry • West End Roundabout • An Aird • Nevis Bridge • Lochybridge • Spean Bridge • Commando Memorial • Invergarry Bridge • Fort Augustus • Invermoriston • Drumnadrochit • Tomnahurich Roundabout • Telford Street Roundabout • Harbour Road Roundabout • Longman Roundabout
DestinationsGlasgow • Clydebank • Erskine Bridge • Dumbarton • Tarbet • Crianlarich • Tyndrum • Fort William • Lochybridge • Spean Bridge • Inverness

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