As the road remains closed for safety reasons, motorists using one of Scotland’s major roads should expect a detour for at least the next two days.
Maintenance company BEAR Scotland had said it was expected to open the A83 at Rest partially and be thankful by mid-November once fence repairs had been completed.
However, it has now been reported that a further delay has occurred – and BEAR said they would not accept the reopening date on Thursday until the slopes have been thoroughly tested.
Since Aug. 4, when a rain-caused landslide blocked the road, the main Highlands route has been open for barely three weeks.
In the meantime, it has been reported that the single-lane alternative route, the Old Military Road (OMR), will be out of operation until at least Thursday — motorists will face a 60-mile detour.
Delays and 60-mile detour as A83 at Rest remains closed and be thankful
BEAR Scotland said that because of “continued heavy rainfall in the region” the OMR will remain closed tonight (Tuesday) and during Wednesday as a safety measure.
The line was closed last night and stayed closed today (Tuesday) throughout the day as a weather front passes through northwest Scotland with heavy rain. The Met Office’s yellow alert for heavy rain is in effect until 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.
All traffic is being diverted via the A82, A85 and A819 via a detour route between Tarbet and Inveraray. To look out for problems and control traffic, BEAR teams patrol the road.
In order to assess the condition of the slope, geotechnical teams remain on site, but BEAR said that the OMR is likely to remain closed until Thursday morning due to the continued wet weather and the saturation level of the slope.
Despite the weather conditions, engineers continue to work on introducing new hillside landslide mitigation measures, including constructing a debris barrier in the channel, BEAR said.
“Heavy rain has been falling in the region since this morning, and more rain is forecast for overnight and tomorrow,” said Eddie Ross, BEAR’s Northwest representative.
We must ensure that protection for road users is preserved at all times. As the rainy weather goes on and the slope is saturated, as a safety precaution, we have agreed to close the OMR overnight and during Wednesday.
To check for issues and ensure traffic is moving on the route, our teams are patrolling the detour route and will continue to do so until the route is closed.
‘£80m wasted’ on iconic A83 Rest and Be Grateful for numerous failed repairs
During the weather forecast, we will be constantly monitoring conditions in the area and on the hillside, with the OMR likely to remain closed until Thursday morning.
“As always, we thank all road users and the local community for their patience while we do everything we can to address the ongoing situation at the service area.”
Storm Aiden brought around 90 mm of heavy rain in late October, triggering two major landslides on the important route, both of which were prevented by the landslide fencing on the hillside from reaching the A83.
The fences prevented the two major landslides from hitting the A83, BEAR Scotland said.
BEAR Scotland said on Nov. 4 that a number of repairs are now needed to repair the damaged fences, clear them of material and restore them to full capacity in order to ensure that the A83 remains safe.
The maintenance firm said that the A83 would need to remain closed as a “safety measure” before this work is finished.
BEAR said that because of a storm expected to last until Thursday, the reopening of the A83 had to be postponed.
Ministers have previously been accused of spending almost £ 80 million on ineffective solutions to landslides on the road for more than a decade after it slipped many times during recent heavy rain.
Some residents have called for a public inquiry into the issues, with many suggesting that it is important to find a lasting solution.
Details of 11 ‘corridor options’ for a new route were published by Transport Scotland to replace the A83 landslide-prone section, including the construction of up to three bridges or tunnels.
A decision on a solution is not expected to be taken until next year, however.
BEAR said that the diverted traffic would be handled by ferry operator Western Ferries au