A ‘significant’ landslip overnight has led to the A83 Tarbet to Campbelltown route being closed again at the Rest and Be Thankful.
Heavy rain forecast from Saturday into Sunday had already forced road operator Bear Scotland to close the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful from 4pm on Saturday as a safety precaution, with traffic diverted onto the Old Military Road.
The Old Military Road remained open until 9pm before closing for the night. It had been due to reopen at 7am with plans for the A83 to reopen in the afternoon; however, the latest landslip hindered those plans.
A safety inspection was carried out this morning and revealed more than 1,000 tonnes of material had come down the hillside at the same location as the landslip last month.
Much of this was retained in the temporary mitigation measures including a pit and rockfall barrier.
A full geotechnical safety assessment to look at the dangers of potential further slippage and boulder risk can not be under taken until weather conditions improve.
#A83#RestandbeThankful : due to the on going nature of the landslide and continued rain we are unable to conclude safety assessments. The A83 and OMR will remain closed overnight. Diversion via A82,A85,A819. pic.twitter.com/G1ojuFX77F
— BEAR NW Trunk Roads (@NWTrunkRoads) September 13, 2020
Both roads will remain closed overnight with an inspection due to take place on Monday morning.
A diversion route consisting of a 60-mile detour is in place via the A82, A85 and A819 roads.
Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “This is another major landslide event and the on-going nature of it and the continued heavy rain has meant we are unable to conclude a full safety assessment. In discussion with Transport Scotland and Police Scotland a decision has been taken to keep the A83 Rest and Be Thankful and the Old Military Road closed overnight, with traffic diverted to the longer diversion via the A82, A85 and A819. We appreciate the frustration and disruption this causes, however, given the nature of this event, a safety-first approach is required.”
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said 75mm of rain fell on the Rest and Be Thankful over 24 hours, with flood warnings remaining in place for the north west.
Mark Franklin, Sepa’s duty flood manager, said Scotland had been “battered by another weekend of wet weather” with rainfall across the country measuring in between 70mm and 80mm.
He said localised flooding of land and roads is expected for the north west during Sunday, however, improvements are expected on Monday.
The latest closure comes after one lane of route reopened last week following a landslip last month.
Thousands of tonnes of debris crumbled onto the road on August 4, with work immediately beginning to clear the carriage and make the area safe.
Boulders the size of cars were exposed during the slip more than one month ago, with mitigation works implemented in a bid to prevent further damage including a helicopter being deployed to nudge loose boulders from their perch.
A team of around 50 workers had been working round the clock to complete the repair works.
Motorists are also being urged to use caution if driving along the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.
Inspections are being carried out after heavy rain reportedly has damage to the tarmac and there is debris on the road.
To those affected in the area the StromeFerry by-pass at the Strathcarron end has some flooding and debris coming onto the road so difficult driving conditions. @HighlandCouncil have been informed and somebody is on their way to look at it. Please be careful if in the area.
— Ian Blackford (@Ianblackford_MP) September 13, 2020
The A83 and OMR will therefore remain closed overnight and a further safety review will be undertaken on Monday morning.
BEAR Scotland has been communicating with Western Ferries and they will have an extra ferry running on Sunday night and Monday morning.
Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “This is another major landslide event and the on-going nature of it and the continued heavy rain has meant we are unable to conclude a full safety assessment. In discussion with Transport Scotland and Police Scotland a decision has been taken to keep the A83 Rest and Be Thankful and the Old Military Road closed overnight, with traffic diverted to the longer diversion via the A82, A85 and A819. We appreciate the frustration and disruption this causes, however, given the nature of this event, a safety-first approach is required.