A83 at Rest and Be Thankful opens for first time in 2021

Bund on side of OMR
The temporary barrier at the side of the Old Military Road will offer more protection.

BBC Scotland is reporting that the infamous A83 road at the Rest and Be Thankful reopened on Friday for  the first time in 2021.

The Argyll route, which was plagued by major landslips throughout 2020, saw a limited reopening from 09:00 on Friday.

It has been closed since the end of December for safety reasons and to allow the installation of a new barrier.

Diversions have been in place using the old military road.

Weather permitting, the A83 will stay open during daylight hours from 09:30 to 15:30 using a convoy system through Glen Croe.

The old military road will take over at night when there is limited visibility of the hill above the A83.

Drivers currently face a 59-mile diversion when both routes are closed.

The new strategy comes after a series of mitigation measures were implemented on the hillside to protect drivers, with teams working around the clock throughout the festive period to complete the work.

A debris fence has been constructed on the hillside above the A83 to provide further protection to road users.

And a 175-metre (191 yard) long, six metre (20ft) high barrier has almost been completed at the side of the OMR.

Called a bund – it is designed to act as a barrier, providing additional resilience to the alternative route through the glen and provide greater confidence in keeping the route open in bad weather.

old military road
Work began on the Old Military Road in December last year.

However, heavy rainfall is forecast at the start of next week so the daytime use of the A83 on Monday and Tuesday will be kept under review.

Geotechnical teams continue to monitor the hillside and conditions in the area, with engineers progressing with further construction work on another debris catch-pit on the A83 which will provide further resilience to the route.

Eddie Ross, from road operator Bear Scotland, said: “We’re pleased to reopen the A83 during the daytime after teams have completed a series of mitigation measures at road level and on the hillside above the route.

“As a safety precaution, the old military road will continue to be used overnight for all road users due to the difficulties in being able to safely monitor the slopes above the A83 during the hours of darkness. Motorist safety remains our top priority and we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep road users safe at all times.

“With heavy rain forecast from Monday next week, it’s likely the old military road will remain in use during the daytime early next week, however, we’ll continue to monitor conditions and ensure we’re putting safety first.”

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