A MAJOR road in Stirling is set to reopen early after a major part of the work was completed.

Kerse Road in Stirling will re-open on Friday October 19 – a week earlier than anticipated - as work on the multi-million-pound project completes its most significant phase.

The A905 Kerse Road has been closed since April while engineers demolished and replaced the road bridge over the railway to the south of Stirling station.

The new £8m structure has delivered a significant increase in the width of the carriageway offering the potential for the council to add a third lane in the future to meet Stirling’s growing traffic demand - in line with the city’s transport strategy.

The investment by Network Rail, is part of a wider Scottish Government-funded programme of improvements on the Stirling line ahead of the electrification of the route this winter.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “The early reopening of the Kerse Road Bridge marks a significant stage in the electrification of the Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa rail lines.

“The £8 million replacement is a significant upgrade on the previous bridge, is wider than its predecessor and will deliver sustainable benefits for years to come. I am sure today’s news will be welcomed by both the local community and businesses and I am grateful for their patience and co-operation during this complex and challenging construction project.”

Iain McFarlane, Network Rail’s route delivery director, for the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa (SDA) electrification project said: “The reconstructed bridge at Kerse Road enables the electrification of the rail lines through Stirling but also delivers a stronger and wider structure which will stand the city in good stead for many years to come.

“We understand the impact this closure had for road users, businesses and communities adjacent to the site, but we have worked proactively with Stirling Council to minimise disruption and maintained close communication with the wider community to update on progress throughout.

“We have been heartened by the positive feedback we have received from those impacted by the work who understand that this scale of investment cannot be delivered without some degree of disruption.

“We thank everyone for their patience while we carried out this important work.”

Electrification of central Scotland’s rail network will reduce journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh, increase capacity on peak services and enable the introduction of longer, faster, greener trains.

Delivering this work in a six-month period was a huge logistical challenge, but the Network Rail team planned the project in detail with contractor Morgan Sindall to minimise inconvenience as much as possible.

While much of the bridge work was completed in a relatively constrained period, part of the reason for requiring the six-month road closure was to firstly divert, then re-connect the significant number of different services supplied to the community over the bridge by the various utility providers.

With Kerse Road re-opened, work to complete the bridge will continue until February 2019.