Transport Scotland has decided the construction of a debris flow shelter is the preferred option for the long-term solution to address long-term challenges at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful.
It says he selection of the preferred option follows design and assessment work on five options through the Glen Croe valley.
The road has been regularly shut because of safety fears when heavy rain leads to potential landslips on the road. A “landslide catcher” was a temporary solution but the road still needed to be shut with diversions via a single-lane alternative.
Transport Scotland says debris flow shelters are akin to a tunnel with one open side and are a recognised means of protecting transport infrastructure and its users from falling rock and debris in areas susceptible to debris flows or landslides. They have been successfully used across Europe and beyond for many years.
An online exhibition has gone live where the public can view and comment on the preferred route option.
Public exhibitions will be held for four days from 12 June in Arrochar and then Lochgilphead where the Transport Scotland project team and technical advisors will be available to answer questions on the proposals for the route.
Minister for Transport Kevin Stewart MSP said: “The Scottish Government has been working tirelessly to find a long-term solution to the landslip risks at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful.
“The identification of the preferred route option through the Glen Croe valley is a very important milestone in finding a solution to this long-standing problem. The proposed new debris flow shelter will help protect the road and road users from future landslides.
“We want to hear from the public on our proposals and both the online exhibition and public exhibitions in two weeks are your opportunity to tell us what you think.
“Work will now be taken forward at pace to further develop our proposals, including the detailed development and assessment of the preferred option along with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment, draft Road Orders and draft Compulsory Purchase Orders.
“At the same time as progressing the long-term solution, we are looking to increase the resilience of the temporary diversion route along the existing Old Military Road, having identified the preferred route solution for it late last year.
“The first phase of implementing the medium-term solution will begin later this year with realignment of the southern end of the route. This will increase resilience of the temporary diversion route by reducing the likelihood of closures due to flooding, meaning more certainty for locals and road users if the A83 has to shut due to adverse weather conditions.
“I am looking forward to chairing the next meeting of the A83 Taskforce later in June and updating the members on progress.
“These developments underline the Scottish Government’s commitment to work with key stakeholders and local communities and ensure that Argyll & Bute remains open for business.”
(Picture – Transport Scotland)