MOTORISTS have been warned of major road closures starting this weekend for the latest phase of the tram works.
An 800-tonne crane is being brought in to lift massive beams into place to build a new bridge at Roseburn Street as part of the £776 million project.
Roseburn Street will be closed at its junction with the West Approach Road from 7pm tonight until 6am on Monday morning.
Similar work to widen and strengthen an existing bridge at Balgreen Road, to carry the trams, will take place over four weekends from the end of the month.
Tram bosses said every effort was being made to keep disruption to a minimum.
The installation of the beams can only be done when the tram contractors are able to obtain “possession orders” for the rail track – in other words, when there are no trains running, typically overnight from Saturday into Sunday.
Walter Spence, of Murrayfield community council, said there had been some concerns in the past about noise disturbance from overnight works. But he said: “Everyone has just accepted the fact now and the feeling is: ‘Let them get on with it and get rid of them as soon as possible.’”
The new bridge at Roseburn Street will be built close to the existing rail bridge, taking the tram route in parallel with the railway track.
The 37-metre beams have already been delivered to the site and are due to be lifted into position in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Diversions will be put in place from tonight to send drivers via Balgreen Road, Stevenson Road and Westfield Road. Council officials said pedestrian access would be maintained where safe and practical and if any restrictions were required, these would be kept to a minimum.
The Roseburn Street bridge is close to what will be the Murrayfield tram stop. The Roseburn-Gogar stretch of the tram route is scheduled for completion in around a year.
After this weekend, the attention will switch to Balgreen Road, close to the former Jenner’s depository, where an existing bridge carrying an access road, close to the railway bridge, is to be altered, widened and strengthened to carry the tram line. The work will again include beams being lifted into place by crane.
Balgreen Road will be closed from 7pm on Friday, May 25 until 6am on Monday, May 28 and for similar periods over the following three weekends.
A council spokesman said: “Work is progressing well along this section of the route and, following the installation of the beams this weekend, the Roseburn Street Bridge will really start to take shape.
“Every effort has been made to keep disruption to a minimum.
“Contractors will do what they can to keep noise to a minimum.”