New protective work on the Rest to take nine months

The latest roadside pit at the Rest and be Thankful has been completed at a cost of £1.1 million and the next one will cost £3.5 million.

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Landslip mitigation measures costing £3.5 million began at the Rest and Be Thankful this week and are expected to take nine months to complete.

The latest phase of the project will see the construction of a further catch-pit next to the trunk road, at the foot of the steep-sided channel formed by the major landslides in August and September last year.

The new concrete catch-pit is designed to capture debris material from a landslip and prevent it from reaching the road.

The timescale for its completion will be subject to weather and hillside conditions and temporary traffic lights will be in place on the A83 throughout the construction period.

This project follows the fifth phase of catch-pit mitigation that was completed next to the A83 in August.

Once this sixth catch-pit is constructed, it will provide an additional 1,600 tonnes of debris storage capacity, bringing the total volume protection of the catch-pits to approximately 21,600 tonnes.

Transport Minister Graeme Dey said: ‘Improving the resilience of the A83 Rest and be Thankful is one of our top priorities, so I welcome the start of construction of this sixth catch-pit.

‘As well as bringing in short and medium term measures to increase resilience, we continue to progress work on a permanent long term solution to the issue.

‘We appreciate that the timescale to develop an alternative route is frustrating for the local community, but we will look to bring forward the programme where we can.

‘On my recent visit to the site I learned more about the geo-technical challenges posed by this section of the road and would like to thank the staff at Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland for their continued hard work on this vital project.

‘The Scottish government remains committed to ensuring continuity of access to the Argyll and Bute Region.’

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: ‘It is great to see the next phase of catch-pit construction get underway.

‘Since the landslides occurred, we have introduced measures aimed at making travel through Glen Croe more resilient, including the provision of debris fences, improvements to surface water management, the construction of a significant temporary bund on the Old Military Road.

‘Most recently, we have resurfaced the Old Military Road to significantly improve the condition of the local diversion route when its use becomes necessary.

‘Construction of the new catch-pit is a complex operation given the nature of the area within which it is to be built, and we will have geotechnical specialists on site daily to monitor the works as they progress over the coming months.

‘Temporary traffic lights on the A83 are necessary to keep our teams as well as users of the route safe, and the team will do all they can to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible.

‘We encourage road-users to plan their journeys in advance by checking the Traffic Scotland website for up to date travel information and we thank all road users and the local community for their continued patience while we do everything we can to progress with the ongoing mitigation measures at the Rest.’