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A83 REST AND BE THANKFUL

From : 12th June 2019

To : 31st July 2019

Posted : 12th June 2019

First Phase of Innovative Landslip Mitigation Measures at Rest and Be Thankful Reaching Completion

Construction of the first new ‘catch-pits’ at the Rest expected to be completed by end of July

Temporary traffic lights will be removed until autumn when construction of second phase begins

 

The £2.24m first phase in an ongoing project to build innovative landslip mitigation measures at the Rest and Be Thankful is making good progress with the work expected to be completed next month.

The project has involved creating three large new ‘debris catch-pits’ next to the A83 carriageway that are designed to catch any material or debris from a landslip and prevent it from reaching the roadside should an event occur.  One small catch-pit was created in 2013, and once the construction of the three new larger pits is complete, together they will have the combined capacity to store around 13,000 tonnes of landslip debris from the hillside.  

The project began in March 2017 and has involved excavating over 28,000 tonnes of rock from the hillside as well as securing the area around the newly constructed pits with deep soil nails and mesh.

To keep all road users safe as well as protect the workforce, temporary traffic lights have been in place continuously throughout the project.  Once this first phase is complete at the Rest, the temporary lights will be removed allowing the A83 to reopen to both lanes reducing the impact to traffic for the remainder of the summer.

BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland have been working with key stakeholders in Argyll through platforms such as the A83 Taskforce to update them on the progress being made and discuss ways to reduce disruption as much as possible during this essential project.

In addition to creating the catch-pits, engineers designed an innovative and sustainable use for the 28,000 tonnes of excavated rock from the construction of the pits at the Rest.  Around three miles west of the pits at Glen Kinglas – another area assessed as having a risk of potential landslips - teams used the 28,000 tonnes of excavated rock to construct six rock bunds across watercourse channels flowing down the slope towards the A83.  These bunds are up to 10m high in some sections and help form a barrier against any potential debris flows while allowing the water to pass beneath.  

Not only has this helped to provide further resilience for the A83, but this sustainable method allowed BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland to maximise the benefit of the material being excavated from the Rest while minimising the overall cost of these works to the public purse. It has also substantially reduced their carbon footprint through the much-reduced haulage distance of removing the excavated rock from site with around 50,000 road miles saved.

In the autumn teams will return to build the second phase of the catch-pit project, which will involve constructing a fifth catch-pit to the north of the first phase catch-pits. This will be a shorter phase as it will involve creating one pit rather than the three just built. For safety, temporary traffic lights will be required during the project, with the second phase expected to be completed in spring 2020.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative, said: “Last week provided us with a good opportunity to update key stakeholders with the project’s progress at the A83 Taskforce meeting in Arrochar, and keep them fully informed of our next steps.

“We’re pleased that the first phase of the ongoing catch-pit construction at the Rest is nearing completion, which once finished will mean the pits will have a combined capacity to store a significant amount of landslip material, helping to strengthen resilience and mitigate against landslips affecting the A83.

 “The completion of six rock bunds at Glen Kinglas using the 28,000 tonnes of excavated rock from the pits at the Rest has provided additional resilience to the route, as well as saving costs, time and over 50,000 transport miles due to the much reduced haulage required to transport the material from site – a real environmental and sustainable success.

“We’ve listened to the key stakeholders in this project, and once the first phase is completed the temporary lights will be removed allowing us to fully reopen the A83 for the remainder of the summer period, helping to reduce the impact to regular road users and tourists.   

 “We’ve arranged the programme so the second phase of the catch-pits won’t begin until the autumn period with teams expecting to complete the second phase in spring 2020.  

“As ever we thank all road users for their continued patience while we work to construct these additional resilience measures on the A83 which will help to keep Argyll open for business, and our teams will do all they can to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible.”

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on www.trafficscotland.org, twitter at @trafficscotland or the new mobile site my.trafficscotland.org.  

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