New 145ft long defensive wall for OMR

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A new defensive wall has been built to provide extra protection to motorists using the Old Military Road.

BEAR Scotland said the protective bund will act as a barrier on a part of the route through Glen Croe which has been left vulnerable to landslip.

The OMR has been frequently called into action as a plan B route when the A83 shuts.

Following several weeks of construction, the 175m (145ft long) barrier, which is also 6.6m high (21ft) will now provide additional protection.

BEAR Scotland said the barrier uses a ‘modular system’ favoured by the military.

It involves individual units stacked together to create a defensive wall across the foot of the vulnerable channel which was carved out by two large landslips last year.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport in the Scottish Government, said: ‘I’m really pleased to see this protective bund completed, making the local diversion route more reliable and offering welcome reassurance to local road users.

‘This is important progress towards improving the resilience of the Old Military Road and I would like to put on record my thanks to the teams involved for all of their efforts.

‘Alongside these measures, Transport Scotland continues to explore future works for the hillside to bolster the resilience of this key corridor route.’

Eddie Ross, north west representative for BEAR Scotland, said: ‘We’re pleased to see the temporary bund completed on the Old Military Road, meaning we can have greater confidence that we can safely keep the alternative route open for road users when the weather conditions worsen.

‘This work, together with the successful installation of the in-channel barrier above the A83 which was completed before Christmas, means we’re continuing to strengthen the landslip resilience in the area following two large landslips in 2020.

‘We’re continuously monitoring the hillside and weather conditions in the area, and we’ll continue with work to progress with further mitigation work on the A83 at the rest.’