Breaking: Massive barrier plan to protect OMR

Multiple landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful shut the A83 in both directions causing major disruption. 51_a41RestLandslide03
Multiple landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful have frequently shut the A83 and put the OMR at risk

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A 570ft long new temporary barrier is to be built next to the Old Military Road to help provide fresh protection to the closure-hit route, it has been announced.

The ‘bund’ will be 570ft long and 19ft tall and will be positioned next to the OMR at the foot of the vulnerable channel formed by landslips in August and September.

The aim is to help protect the OMR from another major landslip and keep the vital diversion route open when bad weather hits the hillsides and shuts the A83.

BEAR Scotland said the barrier would be formed using a ‘modular system’ favoured by the military and will be largely backfilled with material from previous landslides.

The news was revealed at a meeting of stakeholders today led by Michael Matheson MSP, the cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity.

He said: ‘I was delighted to have the opportunity today to discuss with local stakeholders and businesses our continuing work in delivering landslide mitigation measures at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful and the Old Military Road local diversion.

‘At this meeting, I announced that I have instructed our contractors to commence construction of a new 175m debris bund above the Old Military Road, with the aim of completing works before Christmas, weather permitting.

‘This will provide greater resilience to the local diversion, helping to ensure continuity of access to the region.’

In addition, BEAR Scotland said a design team is continuing to assess the viability of the forestry track as an alternative route through Glen Croe with further information  expected next week.

The Old Military Road remains in use as a local diversion route for road users through Glen Croe but has required teams reviewing the weather forecast and conditions on a daily basis.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s north west representative said: ‘The Old Military Road is operating well as a local diversion and after thorough assessments of the hillside we’re keeping the route operational 24 hours a day as long as weather conditions allow.

‘Installation of this new bund will give us the opportunity to use the local diversion route with greater confidence once it is complete later this month.

‘As ever we’re continuing to put road user safety first.  We thank the local community and all road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can to address the ongoing situation at the rest.’