Overnight Thursday closure for A83 diversion route as heavy rain predicted

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A forecast for heavy rainfall has forced engineers to recommend a 12-hour overnight closure of the old military road local diversion past the A83 landslide site.

Following similar overnight closures earlier in the week, heavy rain is forecast for the Rest and be Thankful area which has the potential to impact on the route. For safety reasons the decision was taken to close the diversion road from 9pm overnight tonight (Thursday August 20) until around 9am tomorrow.

The forecast indicates that heavy rain will develop early evening on Thursday until 9am, with particularly heavy rain from 6am to 9am. Around 30-40mm is expected to fall in the area across the next 24 hours.

All traffic will be diverted via the standard diversion route A83, A83, A85 and A819 from 9pm this evening. During operating hours, another alternative is via Western Ferries between Gourock and Hunter’s Quay.

A full safety assessment will take place from 9am on Friday morning which will determine whether the local diversion route is safe to reopen. This will be undertaken earlier if weather permits.

Trunk road managerment operator BEAR Scotland points out that heavy rain has the potential to impact on the steep channels above and below the A83 carriageway, where loose debris and material is present following a major landslip in the area on August 4.

Teams are working round the clock to carry out a programme of complex repairs on the A83 carriageway after it was damaged following the landslide.

Eddie Ross of BEAR Scotland said: ‘We’re paying close attention to the forecasts in order to ensure if it is safe for us to keep the old military road open for road users given the presence of loose debris in the steep channels on the hillside.

‘We understand the frustration in closing the OMR, however we need to put safety of road users first. We will continue to monitor the hillside and the conditions in the area and do all we can to open the OMR as soon as we can tomorrow morning once the safety assessment following the heavy rain is complete.

‘Argyll remains open for business and as ever we thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re working hard to get the A83 open as quickly and safely as possible.’