Argyll-bound motorists thankful as Rest road re-opens after landslips


Roadworks teams at work on the Rest and be Thankful. Picture by BEAR Scotland

By Glen Douglas

The Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll has reopened after being closed for nine days.

Recent heavy rain and strong winds, including Storm Callum, caused a series of landslips which forced the closure of both the A83 Inverary-Loch Lomond road and the Old Military Road.

About 3,000 tonnes of debris was collected in specially-designed fences above the route.

Bear Scotland confirmed the road reopened after a safety assessment at 11:20. The Old Military Road reopened on Monday.

Teams have worked over the last week to carry out repairs to the debris fencing following the landslips and to clear material from the side of the road.  Additional drainage measures have also been installed along the roadside.

Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s north west representative, said: “Following a full safety assessment this morning, along with representatives from Police Scotland, we were pleased to reopen the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful following the multiple landslides last week.

“Teams from multiple organisations have worked tirelessly in what has been challenging conditions to do all they can to secure the slope above the road, repair the fences and keep the Old Military Road and other routes into Argyll open.

“Temporary traffic lights will remain in place on the A83 as teams continue work to carry out the remaining mitigation measures at the Rest and Be Thankful.”

Mr Ross said a 24-hour recovery vehicle and additional patrols would also be on hand for the next few days to assist any road users and keep traffic moving.

He added: “We thank the local community and road users for their patience while our teams worked to reopen the road and encourage them to drive safely through the Rest and Be Thankful while teams complete the remaining repairs at the site.”

The Rest and Be Thankful has been closed since Tuesday 9 October, when about 2,500 tonnes of material came down the slope above the A83 during heavy rain.

The following day a helicopter was used to carry out an aerial assessment of the hillside and three large boulders were identified as a potential safety risk.

Work was carried out to make them safe but last Friday Storm Callum brought heavy rain to the area.

The conditions caused fresh landslips and a further 500 tonnes of debris reached the catch fences above the carriageway.

Bear Scotland said clear-up and repair work was carried out over the weekend, while motorists were diverted via the A85 at Dalmally.

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