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A83 Rest and Be Thankful09 Oct 2018

A83 REST AND BE THANKFUL

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A83 Rest and Be Thankful09 Oct 2018

11.20am, Thursday 18 October

 

A83 REST AND BE THANKFUL REOPENS FOLLOWING MULTIPLE LANDSLIDES LAST WEEK

Teams have completed recovery works after 3,000 tonnes of material reached the landslip mitigation measures following landslides last week

Temporary traffic lights remain in place for safety while teams work to continue with mitigation measures

 

The A83 Rest and Be Thankful has reopened after multiple landslides meant the road was closed for safety last week.  

Around 3,000 tonnes of debris reached the specially designed landslip mitigation measures above the A83, preventing most from reaching the roadside.  Teams have worked continuously to carry out repairs to the debris fencing following the landslips, to clear material from the roadside and debris fences as well as installing additional drainage measures along the roadside to help improve resilience.

A full safety assessment along with a final check with Police Scotland has meant the road was safely reopened around 11.20am.  

Temporary traffic lights will remain in place for safety on the A83 while teams work to continue with remaining landslip mitigation works at the Rest and Be Thankful.  A 24-hour recovery vehicle and additional patrols will be on hand for the next few days to assist any road users as required and help keep traffic moving during the reopening of the A83.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative, said:

“Following a full safety assessment this morning along with representatives from Police Scotland, we were pleased to reopen the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful following the multiple landslides last week.

“Teams from multiple organisations have worked tirelessly in what has been challenging conditions to do all they can to secure the slope above the road, repair the fences and keep the Old Military Road and other routes into Argyll open.  

“Temporary traffic lights will remain in place on the A83 as teams continue work to carry out the remaining mitigation measures at the Rest and Be Thankful.  We’ll also have a recovery vehicle and patrols in the area to help ensure the reopening of the road goes smoothly and keep traffic moving in Argyll.

“We thank the local community and road users for their patience while our teams worked to reopen the road and encourage them to drive safely through the Rest and Be Thankful while teams complete the remaining repairs at the site.”

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

 

What has happened at the Rest and Be Thankful?

On Tuesday 9 October a large landslide occurred some 330m above the A83 carriageway at the Rest and Be Thankful following a period of prolonged heavy rain, 77mm was recorded falling on Tuesday alone.  The debris was prevented from reaching the carriageway by the specially designed debris-fences above the roadside.

As the height of the original source of the landslide was so far up the hill, this caused a ‘fan effect’ with the material spreading out across a wider area as it reached the bottom.  

Multiple landslips continued to occur throughout Tuesday as heavy rain persisted, making it unsafe and extremely difficult for teams to begin assessments to determine the scale of the material which was coming down the hillside.

Around 2,500 tonnes of material is estimated to have come down the slope on Tuesday, with the majority caught in specially-designed debris catch-fences which were installed across specific areas of the slope above the A83 carriageway.  Some debris reached the road after a boulder hit one of the fence posts on Tuesday afternoon, causing material to breach onto the carriageway and fall into the Old Military Road diversion below.

On Wednesday 10 October once weather conditions improved, teams began carrying out extensive hillside assessments, including using a helicopter for aerial assessment.  Around 350 tonnes of material was also cleared from the Old Military Road.

Three large boulders were identified as being a potential safety risk to the A83 and Old Military Road, with the largest weighing around 75 tonnes.  The highest boulder was positioned approximately 300m above the slope.  Due to the position of the boulders, the Old Military Road and A83 could not be opened for safety concerns.

On Thursday 11 October teams worked to make the boulders safe by drilling into the rock and inserting a hydraulic pressured device to safely break the boulders into smaller pieces, reducing the risk of any movement on the hillside.  

Further landslips on Friday 12 October brought in by heavy rain from Storm Callum prevented the Old Military Road from opening, despite teams preparing the local diversion route ready for use.  

Clear-up and repair works continue into the weekend, with the total debris material estimated to have reached the debris catch-fences approximately 3,000 tonnes.

The Old Military Road opened during the day until 6pm on Monday 15 October while teams worked to continue repairs on the debris catch-fences above the A83 carriageway, however was closed overnight as a precaution and traffic diverted via the standard diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally.   

Multiple experienced teams including rope access personnel, geotechnical engineers, specialist machinery operators, BEAR Scotland Operations teams and heavy plant contractors involving multiple diggers and tipper trucks continued to work on Tuesday 16 October to clear up after the landslides. A new debris catch-fence was installed allowing the OMR to operate overnight allowing the route to be in use 24 hours a day.

On Thursday 18 October the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful reopened to road users under temporary traffic light control while teams continued with ongoing landslip mitigation improvements.

 

 

6.00pm, Wednesday 17 October

 

Teams working towards reopening A83 on Thursday afternoon following good progress made on site

Decision to be taken late tomorrow morning following safety assessments and review of conditions

Old Military Road to remain in operation 24-hours a day until A83 reopens

Teams are working towards reopening the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful on Thursday afternoon after good progress on site today (Wednesday) has meant work on landslip mitigation measures has continued.  

Good weather conditions have allowed teams to reinstate debris fences, install additional drainage measures and make safe a 20-tonne boulder which was identified on the hillside following further landslips last week.   

Should favourable weather conditions continue and the final phase of mitigation works is completed to ensure road users are kept safe, it is hoped that the A83 will be able to reopen under temporary traffic light control from Thursday afternoon following a full safety assessment.  

This decision will be reviewed following progress on site tomorrow morning and only after a full safety check and assessment is completed.  

Temporary traffic lights will remain in place on the A83 carriageway to ensure teams carrying out remaining landslip mitigation works on the A83 carriageway are kept safe.  

The Old Military Road will remain in operation overnight and will continue running until the A83 reopens.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: 

“Teams have made great progress on site with works to reinstate the debris fences damaged by last week’s landslips and improvements to the drainage measures almost complete.

“We’re working to carry out a full safety review in the late morning tomorrow and once the remaining sections of repair work is completed we hope to be in a position to reopen the A83 under temporary traffic lights at some point tomorrow afternoon.

“The safety of road users remains of paramount importance, and we need to ensure that all measures are completed before we are confident it is safe to reopen the A83. This will involve a final inspection with Police Scotland.

“In the meantime, the Old Military Road will continue to remain in operation overnight and throughout the day tomorrow until the A83 reopens.

“We thank the local community and road users for their patience while we complete operations at the Rest and Be Thankful, and assure them we’re doing everything possible to reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so. “ 

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

 

10.55am, Wednesday 17 October

Work to reinstate landslip mitigation measures above A83 carriageway continue following good progress

Old Military Road local diversion route in operation 24 hours a day

 

Works to continue to reinstate multiple landslip mitigation measures above A83 carriageway continues today following good progress made earlier in the week.  

Additional drainage measures are being constructed with further repairs being carried out to the debris catch-fences above the A83, which were successful in preventing most of the 3,000 tonnes of material from reaching the road following multiple landslips last week.  

Further works to stabilise an additional boulder on the hillside above the slope will also be completed to help ensure the road remains safe.

The Old Military Road (OMR) local diversion route has been in operation overnight via a convoy system helping to reduce disruption to road users in Argyll while the A83 remains closed.  This will continue to be in use on a 24-hour basis until the main carriageway reopens.  Weather conditions are being continuously monitored to ensure the route remains safe to keep open while repairs to the A83 debris fences are ongoing.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“Today teams are continuing to build on the good progress made in the past few days with reinstating the debris fences and clearing debris from the mitigation measures in place.  Work is also underway to install additional drainage channels next to the A83 carriageway as well as plans underway to stabilise another boulder on the hillside.

“The Old Military Road local diversion route is operating well providing an alternative road to Argyll while the A83 remains closed following last week’s multiple landslides.  We’ve got extra patrols and recovery vehicles stationed nearby to help assist motorists as required on the route and ensure the diversion continues to operate smoothly. 

“We encourage road users to please drive carefully during the convoy through the Old Military Road and adhere to the speed limit which is in place for everyone’s safety.

“Our teams are working hard to do all they can to open the A83 as soon as it is safe to do so, and we thank  the local community and road users for their patience while we complete operations at the Rest and Be Thankful.”

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

 

 

5.00pm, Tuesday 16 October


Old Military Road local diversion route to remain open overnight

Assessments deem local diversion route safe to run throughout night

Today teams have worked to install temporary debris fence to protect road users on the OMR  

 

The Old Military Road (OMR) local diversion route at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful will remain open overnight tonight helping to reduce disruption to road users in Argyll while the A83 remains closed. Geotechnical assessments and consideration of a detailed weather forecast for the area have deemed the condition of the hillside safe to allow the OMR to run during hours of darkness tonight.

Teams will work through the night to help ensure the Old Military Road operates safely, including installing specialist lighting and stationing extra patrols and a recovery vehicle on-site to assist road users as required and keep the route moving. 

Teams worked throughout the day today (Tuesday) to install a temporary debris fence above the A83 carriageway to replace one which was heavily damaged by multiple landslips last week, allowing the local diversion below to open safely overnight.  

Operations will continue over the next few days to prepare the A83 for re-opening. 

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“Teams have made good progress on-site with the installation of a new temporary debris-fence completed today next to the A83 carriageway, meaning there is sufficient protection overnight for motorists to continue using the Old Military Road.

“A thorough geotechnical assessment and a close look at the weather forecast overnight has meant we can safely keep the Old Military Road open overnight, helping to reduce disruption to road users in Argyll while the A83 carriageway is worked on.  

“For safety, the route will be monitored for any change in weather conditions throughout the night as a precaution.  

“We ask road users to please drive safely during the convoy through the Old Military Road and adhere to the speed limit which is in place for everyone’s safety.

 “We’ll continue to do all we can to ensure the A83 opens as soon as it is safe to do so, and we thank the local community and motorists for their patience while we work to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful.”

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

 

 

10.15 am, Tuesday 16 October

Old Military Road local diversion route reopened following geotechnical assessment 

Repair work continues on A83 following multiple landslides last week

Conditions carefully monitored throughout the day with decision taken late afternoon to consider keeping Old Military Road open overnight

 

The Old Military Road (OMR) local diversion route at the A83 Rest and be Thankful has reopened to traffic this morning following an assessment and inspection by geotechnical experts. 

Conditions on site will be carefully monitored throughout the day with the decision taken late afternoon to consider keeping the Old Military Road open overnight if it is safe to do so following a detailed assessment of the progress of repairs and weather forecasts for the night ahead.

Work will continue today to improve the debris catch fences on the slope above the road following last week’s multiple landslides.  A total of 3,000 tonnes of debris reached the specially designed debris catch-fences above the A83 carriageway following heavy rain on Tuesday and Friday last week.  Multiple experienced teams including rope access personnel, geotechnical engineers, specialist machinery operators, BEAR Scotland Operations teams and heavy plant contractors involving multiple diggers and tipper trucks are working to prepare the area to reopen once considered safe.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“The geotechnical inspection this morning has allowed us to reopen the Old Military Road through the Rest and Be Thankful, providing an alternative diversion route with improved journey times for road users in and out of Argyll.

“We ask road users to please drive safely during the convoy through the Old Military Route and adhere to the speed limit which is in place for everyone’s safety while the repairs above the A83 carriageway continue.  

“Safety remains our top priority, and we’ll review the progress of the repairs today alongside the forecast weather conditions overnight tonight before any decision is made about keeping the local diversion route open throughout the night.   

“We will continue to monitor the situation on the hillside and it is hoped that given the generally improving weather forecast this week that good progress can be made in the full recovery of the A83. 

“As ever, we thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful as quickly and safely as we can. We remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to ensure the A83 opens as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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

 

 

 

 

6.00pm, Monday 15 October

 

Improved weather allows recovery work at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful to continue 

Old Military Road local diversion to close overnight from 6pm as a precaution

Timeframes for re-opening of the Old Military Road will be reviewed on Tuesday morning following assessments

 

Improved weather conditions today has meant good progress has been made with the opening of the Old Military Road (OMR) as a local diversion route for road users.

Teams have worked to continue with repairs at some of the debris catch-fences that were damaged following multiple landslips last week.  

The Old Military Road was opened this morning following a geotechnical assessment and has been operating under a convoy system for road users. As a precaution, given the forecast for inclement weather on Tuesday (16 October), the OMR will be closed from 6pm tonight (Monday) and a further inspection carried out tomorrow morning from 8am to determine if it is safe to reopen.  

Traffic will be diverted via the standard diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally until the decision is made tomorrow morning.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said:

“The weather conditions today has meant that teams have made good progress and continued with the repairs to the debris catch fences above the A83 carriageway following the multiple landslips last week.

“Opening the Old Military Road this morning has helped to improve access for road users in and out of Argyll.  Safety remains our top priority and as further rain is forecast for Tuesday we need to close the Old Military Road as a precaution to ensure motorists and our workforce are kept safe. 

“We’ll review and assess the Old Military Road and the slope above the A83 tomorrow morning from 8am to determine if it is safe to re-open.  Until then the standard diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally will be reinstated from 6pm tonight.

“We thank the local community and road users for their patience while we do everything we can to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful as quickly and safely as we can.

“We remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to ensure the A83 opens as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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

 

 

10:00, Monday 15 October


Old Military Road local diversion route opens to traffic in daylight hours

Old Military Road local diversion route opens to traffic until 18:00hrs

Work continues to clear debris and reinstate catch fences on A83 as weather improves

 

The Old Military Road (OMR) local diversion route at the A83 Rest and be Thankful has opened to traffic this morning following a final inspection by geotechnical experts. Work will continue today to improve conditions on the slope above the road following last week’s multiple landslides. This will be carefully monitored throughout the day. As a precaution, given the forecast for inclement weather on Tuesday (16th October), the OMR will be closed at 18:00hrs tonight (Monday) and a further inspection carried out at 08:00hrs on Tuesday to determine whether it can reopen.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“This is the first step to the full opening of the Old Military Road and ultimately the A83 and hopefully will allow for improved journey times in and out of Argyll.  Safety of motorists and our workforce is always a priority and given the forecast rain for Tuesday a cautious approach is being taken. We will continue to monitor the situation on the hillside and it is hoped that given the generally improving weather forecast this week that good progress can be made in the full recovery of the A83.  

“As ever, we thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful as quickly and safely as we can. We remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to ensure the A83 opens as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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

 

 

 

12:00pm, Sunday 14 October

 

Improved weather allows recovery work at the A83 Rest and be Thankful to continue

A83 and Old Military Road remain closed for safety as teams attempt to repair landslip mitigation fencing and clear debris this weekend

Timeframes for re-opening of the Old Military Road will be reviewed on Monday morning, following today’s works and assessments

 

Work is continuing to assess the hillside following Friday’s secondary landslides at the A83 Rest and be Thankful now that Storm Callum has abated. Clearing of debris from the road and catch fencing, and reinstating drainage continues today in improved weather conditions. Geotechnical assessments will also take place at several areas of potential concern including a number of boulders.

Our multi-disciplinary teams including rope access personnel, geotechnical engineers, specialist machinery operators, BEAR Scotland Operations teams and heavy plant contractors, involving multiple diggers and tipper trucks, are working through challenging conditions to prepare the area to reopen once considered safe. 

Further patrols are operating 24/7 on the diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally to help assist road users and address any issues on the route to help keep Argyll open for business.

Road and hillside conditions will be reviewed on Monday morning following today’s works to determine the timeframes for reopening the Old Military Road.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“Now that Storm Callum has passed our geotechnical experts can get a closer look at the hillside and consider what needs to be done prior to the Old Military Road and ultimately the A83 re-opening.

“We’re aware of the impact this is having on the busy weekend and holiday traffic and businesses. Our additional safety patrol on the diversion route via A85 Dalmally proved to be useful yesterday assisting motorists and dealing with issues caused by the storm. This will continue today and until the route re-opens.  

“As ever, we thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful as quickly and safely as we can. We remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get the Old Military Road and A83 open as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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

 

12.35pm, Saturday 13 October

Storm Callum brings further heavy rain impacting operations at the Rest and Be Thankful

 

A83 and Old Military Road remain closed for safety as teams  attempt to repair landslip mitigation fencing and clear debris this weekend

 

Works are continuing to repair the debris fencing, clear landslip material from the A83 carriageway and Old Military Road and reinstate drainage despite the continuing heavy rains brought in from Storm Callum.

Weather records at the Rest and Be Thankful estimate that 230mm of rainfall has impacted the area since midnight on Sunday 7 October, with Storm Callum bringing more heavy rain throughout the weekend.  

Despite difficult conditions in a challenging environment, a combined effort is continuing to safely assess the hillside, continue with the clear-up of debris and repair and empty the catch-fences above the carriageway.  Multiple experienced teams including rope access personnel, geotechnical engineers, specialist machinery operators, BEAR Scotland Operations teams and heavy plant contractors involving multiple diggers and tipper trucks are working through the challenging conditions to prepare the area to reopen once considered safe. 

Further patrols are operating 24/7 on the diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally to help assist road users and address any issues on the route to help keep Argyll open for business.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Manager said:

“Storm Callum is continuing to bring more heavy rain to the area, limiting visibility and making conditions difficult for the teams to progress repairs and the clear-up of yesterday’s additional landslides.

“Despite this, teams are working exceptionally hard to do all they can to make the area safe, however until then the road and Old Military Road local diversion has to remain closed for safety reasons.

“We’re aware of the impact this is having on the busy weekend and holiday traffic and we’re doing all we can to help ensure the diversion route via the A85 at Dalmally keeps moving by having further safety patrols on the route to help any motorists as required.  

“As ever, we thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can to address the multiple landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful as quickly and safely as we can. We remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get the Old Military Road open as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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

 

 

2pm, Friday 12th October

STORM CALLUM RULES OUT OPENING A83 & OMR THIS WEEKEND


As a result of heavy rain brought in by Storm Callum the A83 and Old Military Road (OMR) local diversion will remain closed for the weekend.

The outlook is complicated by further forecasts of heavy rain in coming days. Despite the challenging weather and new slips this morning, work continues to protect the road from debris.

This morning, around 300 tonnes of new debris reached the A83 and around 50 tonnes has reached the OMR. 

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful this week have been some of the most challenging in recent memory both for the community and for the teams working in difficult conditions.

“I saw for myself this morning the size of the challenge with secondary slips complicating matters and delaying use of the Old Military Road diversion route. It is a dynamic situation on the hillside, there are warnings of further heavy rain and while every effort is being made to get traffic moving, today’s events reinforce the need for a safety first approach.

“I understand that local residents and businesses are being inconvenienced as a result of these events and I would like to thank them for their patience during the disruption.  Every effort is being made to clean-up the debris and I appreciate the huge efforts of the recovery teams and police.

“I am well aware of the strategic importance of the A83, with £66m spent on the maintenance and improvement of this route since 2007.

“The catch fences did stop a large majority of the 2,500 tonnes of material that came down the hillside originally and we could have been facing an even bigger operation. Work has already begun on a further £2m worth of additional landslide mitigation measures. We will convene the A83 taskforce at the earliest opportunity and consider further options to help build additional resilience into the route as soon as possible.”

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager said: “Safety remains our top priority, and although we had prepared the Old Military Road so that it was ready to open today, the further landslips this morning mean that this can no longer happen.  With Storm Callum and further forecasts of heavy rain in coming days, it is not considered safe to open the Old Military Road this weekend.

“Teams continue to work tirelessly to assess the risk of further landslips, clear debris that has reached the A83, Old Military Road and the nets above the A83.

“In the meantime we remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get the Old Military Road open as soon as we can. 

“We encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally in the meantime, and to plan ahead by checking the Traffic Scotland website for up to date journey information.”

 

11am, Friday 12th October

Following a heavy rain storm at around 8am this morning, further secondary slips have occurred on the hillside at the A83.

The three large boulders that had been causing concern were secured last night and assessments have been taking place to try to open the Old Military Road (OMR) this morning, however this will now not be possible until the new slips have been assessed and any necessary mitigation works are undertaken.

More information will be shared once site assessments have been carried out.

 

 

6.30pm, Thursday 11 October

Second boulder made safe on hillside above A83 Rest and Be Thankful

 

Teams working to address third boulder exposed during multiple landslips on Tuesday

 

A83 and Old Military Road to remain closed for safety overnight

 

The second of three large boulders on the hillside above the A83 has been made safe after being exposed by multiple landslips on Tuesday.

Teams are now working to address a third boulder above the carriageway.  Specialist equipment is being used which involves drilling into the boulder and inserting a hydraulic pressured device to split the rock into pieces on the hillside.

Once all three boulders are made safe a final safety check will take place before preparing the Old Military Road for opening.  

The Old Military Road has been cleared of any remaining debris and teams mobilised to help operate the local diversion once the green-light has been given from the geo-technical assessment.

Additional road signs have been erected to help remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, as well as additional BEAR Scotland patrols deployed on the diversion route via Dalmally to help keep motorists moving.

The boulders became exposed after around 2,500 tonnes of material from multiple landslips was caught in specialist debris netting above the A83 carriageway on Tuesday, preventing most of the debris from reaching the roadside.  Over the past six years, the range of landslip mitigation measures installed at the Rest and Be Thankful are estimated to have prevented the A83 from closing for at least 23 days in total.    

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager said:

“Teams have worked tirelessly on the hillside today above the A83 to do all they can to make safe the boulders on the route, with work on the third boulder almost complete.

“Safety remains our top priority, and although we have prepared the Old Military Road so it is ready to open we can only do so once the go-ahead is given from the geotechnical assessment.  That said, we remain hopeful that teams will be able to achieve this sometime tomorrow ahead of the weekend.

“In the meantime we remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get the Old Military Road open as soon as we can.  

“We encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally in the meantime, and to plan ahead by checking the Traffic Scotland website for up to date journey information.”

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

 

 

1.35pm, Thursday 11 October

WORK UNDERWAY TO MAKE BOULDERS SAFE ABOVE A83 FOLLOWING MULTIPLE LANDSLIDES AT REST AND BE THANKFUL

 

First of three large boulders safely secured on hillside

 

A83 and Old Military Road to remain closed until slope is secured and considered safe

 

The first of three large boulders, which have been exposed following multiple landslips above the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, has been secured.

Teams are working to drill into the rocks and insert a hydraulic pressured device which will safely split them into smaller pieces, reducing the risk of them moving and impacting the road below. The largest boulder is estimated to weigh around 75 tonnes and was situated at around 300m above the roadside. Teams can only work on one rock at a time for safety reasons.

Aerial assessments using helicopters yesterday allowed geotechnical engineers to fully investigate the hillside and the scale of Tuesday’s landslips.  The height of one of the landslides is estimated to be about 330m above the A83, one of the highest recorded in recent years at the area.  

Despite the wide area, the debris was prevented from reaching the carriageway by specially-designed landslip mitigation fences which caught around 2,500 tonnes of material across four different fences.  Over the past six years, the range of landslip mitigation measures installed at the Rest and Be Thankful is estimated to have prevented the A83 from closing for at least 23 days in total.   

A diversion route is in place via the A85 at Dalmally with extra signage and BEAR Scotland teams deployed to help ensure Argyll and Bute remains open for business while teams do all they can to open the A83.  

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager said:

“Specialist engineers have safely secured the first of three boulders on the slope above the Rest and Be Thankful, and are now moving to begin work on the second boulder down the slope.

“Until this work on the boulders is complete we cannot open either the A83 or the Old Military Road local diversion until we are confident these boulders are secure.  The local diversion route is ready to go and once we have the go-ahead from the geotechnical assessments we’ll look to open this. 

“After that we’ll begin repairing and removing the debris from the catch-fences above the A83 carriageway.

“Yesterday allowed teams to fully assess the scale of Tuesday’s slips – which are some of the largest in recent years.  One of the landslips occurred some 330m up the hillside, meaning that it fanned out as it reached the bottom and covered a huge area.  

“We’re doing all we can to help ensure that Argyll remains open for business, including adding extra signage and deploying patrols to the diversion route to help keep people moving.

“We thank road users for their patience while we do everything we can to address yesterday’s landslips.  We encourage people to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or to find an alternative form of transport, and advise motorists to check ahead with Traffic Scotland for real-time journey information.”

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

 

 

 

5PM, Wednesday 10 October

A83 AND OLD MILITARY ROAD TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR SAFETY OVERNIGHT AS TEAMS WORK TO SECURE BOULDERS ABOVE CARRIAGEWAY

 

The A83 Rest and Be Thankful and Old Military Road is to remain closed today after three large boulders which are considered to present a risk above the A83 have been identified by specialist engineers.

The three large boulders – the biggest estimated to be around 75 tonnes - have been identified some 300m above the slope which are now exposed following yesterday’s landslips and prolonged heavy rain. 

Engineers are now working to secure the boulders by drilling into the rock and inserting a device which will help break the boulders into smaller pieces on the hillside, reducing the risk of further movement on the slope.  

Teams have been using a helicopter to carry out aerial assessments and bring machinery and materials to address the boulders on the hillside. Geotechnical engineers have also been assessing the slope on foot.  

Some 2,500 tonnes of material is estimated to have reached the catch-fences along the A83 carriageway following multiple landslips after prolonged heavy rain on Tuesday.  Over the past six years, the range of landslip mitigation measures installed at the Rest and Be Thankful is estimated to have prevented the A83 from closing for at least 23 days in total. 

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager, said:

“Safety is our number one priority and we cannot open the A83 or the Old Military Road until these boulders high-up above the carriageway are made safe.

“Yesterday’s landslips have caused a number of boulders to become exposed which is causing some concern, and we want to be as confident as possible that there will be no further movements of material or the boulders on the hillside before we open the Old Military Road as a diversion which sits below the A83 carriageway.  

“Our next steps are to work with geotechnical colleagues to safely secure these boulders and remove the threat of any further movement on the hillside, which they are working to do this afternoon and will resume again at first light tomorrow

“Teams have worked throughout the day to clear around 150 tonnes of debris from the Old Military Road in preparation for the route to be used as an alternative local diversion route, however this will not be used until we are confident that the road is safe.    

“After that, teams will then turn to emptying and securing the material caught above the A83 carriageway in the debris fences.  

“We continue to thank the travelling public for their patience while we do everything we can to address yesterday’s landslips.  We encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or to find an alternative form of transport.  We advise motorists to check ahead with Traffic Scotland for real-time journey information.”

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

 

 

TEAMS CONTINUE HILLSIDE ASSESSMENTS FOLLOWING MULTIPLE LANDSLIPS ON A83 REST AND BE THANKFUL

A83 remains closed for safety with teams working to clear Old Military Road diversion route

12.55pm, Wednesday 10 October

 

Aerial assessments are being carried out on the A83 at The Rest and Be Thankful, after approximately 2,500 tonnes of debris was caught in catch-fences following a series of landslips yesterday. 

A helicopter has been deployed to check the condition of a number of large boulders which have become exposed, and teams have been reviewing the condition of the hillside since first light this morning.  Prolonged heavy rain prevented them from being able to safely access the slope yesterday.

Work is also underway on the A83 carriageway to install temporary barriers to contain any material from reaching the Old Military Road. 

Teams are preparing the Old Military Road to open as soon as the green-light is given following a full geotechnical assessment.  Around 150 tonnes of material reached the Old Military Road below the A83 carriageway after one of the debris fences was breached by a large boulder, and teams are working to remove the debris using specialist machinery.  

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager said:

“We’re taking full advantage of this window in the weather to get geotechnical experts up the slope to assess the likelihood of any further slips at the Rest and Be Thankful.  An aerial assessment using a helicopter is also being used to further check on some large boulders which are now exposed following yesterday’s extensive heavy rain and landslips.

“Our teams are working to remove around 150 tonnes of material from the Old Military Road diversion, however this will not be opened until we are confident that it is safe for us to do so.

“The debris fences prevented the majority of material from reaching the A83 and successfully protected road users from the dangers of Tuesday morning’s landslide.  We’re now working to complete the safety assessments on the hillside before we mobilise for the clear-up and emptying of the debris fences.

“We thank motorists for their continued patience as we do all we can to deal with these landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful.  We encourage road users to follow the diversion route in place via Dalmally or use an alternative form of travel, and to check ahead using Traffic Scotland for up to date journey information.”

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

 


A83 to remain closed overnight for safety as teams work to assess multiple landslips in area

5.10pm, Tuesday 9 October

 

The A83 Rest and Be Thankful will remain closed this evening after around 2,500 tonnes of debris from multiple landslips reached the catch-fences above the carriageway.

Prolonged heavy rain throughout the day (Tuesday) has prevented teams from safely accessing the slope to investigate the potential for any further landslips, and they are now planning to access the slope above the carriageway at first light tomorrow to carry out a full geotechnical inspection and evaluate its stability, before clear-up operations can get underway.  

Four of the recently installed fences have stopped the majority of material from reaching the A83 carriageway, but a large boulder has damaged one of the fences and some debris has reached the A83 carriageway and the Old Military Road below.

Teams are working to mobilise machinery to the Rest and Be Thankful to begin clear-up operations at the Old Military Road and the A83 carriageway as soon as the inspection is complete.  Work will then begin to open the Old Military Road as an alternative route before the debris fences on the hillside are cleared and repaired to allow the A83 to be reopened.  

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager said:

“Teams have been working hard in very challenging conditions today to try and assess the extent of the landslips affecting the Rest and Be Thankful, however heavy rain is making it difficult for teams to assess the likelihood of any further occurrences elsewhere on the slope, with approximately 75mm of rain recorded at the Rest and Be Thankful today alone. 

“The specialist debris fencing has prevented the vast majority of material from reaching the roadside, however some debris has spilled onto the carriageway below with some reaching the Old Military Road.

“Safety continues to be our top priority and until we are completely satisfied that no further material will come down the hillside, the A83 and Old Military Road will remain closed.

“A full geotechnical assessment is being planned for the slope above the carriageway to check on the condition of the hillside, and once this is given the green-light we’ll begin the clear-up of the Old Military Road and A83 carriageway.  We’re mobilising machinery into position tonight to help our teams continue these efforts tomorrow.

“In the meantime we encourage people to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or use alternative forms of travel.  We’ll continue to update stakeholders and encourage all road users to check Traffic Scotland for the latest travel information.”

Further updates will be issued tomorrow.

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

 

 

A83 remains closed as teams continue with assessments on site

1.10 pm update

The A83 remains closed in both directions due to multiple landslips which have been caught in debris fencing at the Rest and Be Thankful.

An initial geotechnical assessment has taken place, suggesting it is currently unsafe to open the A83 or the Old Military Road due to the heavy rain continuing to affect the slope above the carriageway.  

Large amounts of debris from the hillside also reached three additional landslip mitigation fences elsewhere on the slope this morning, and the assessment has now been expanded to look at the approaches to the Old Military Road as a precaution.

The standard incident diversion route is now in place as an alternative route on the A83.  An earlier accident on the diversion route on the A85 near Dalmally has since been cleared.  

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager, said: 

“Safety is our top priority, and we’re doing all we can to assess the slope and the extent of the debris from the steep hillside above the carriageway.

“At least four different debris fences have caught significant levels of material from landslips, however heavy rain is making conditions difficult for teams to assess the extent of the debris which has come down the hill and the likelihood of any further occurrences elsewhere on the slope.

“At this stage it is unlikely we’ll be able to safely open the A83 or the Old Military Road today until we are absolutely certain that the slope at the Rest and Be Thankful is safe, and until then we encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or consider alternative travel options.

“Road users should also check Traffic Scotland for the latest information about the Rest and Be Thankful, and we’ll be doing our best to keep stakeholders updated on progress.”

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

A83 CLOSED IN BOTH DIRECTION AT REST AND BE THANKFUL

9.15am, Tuesday 9 October 
The A83 is currently closed in both directions to allow teams to assess a landslip that has occurred at the Rest and Be Thankful.
The debris has been caught in one of the specially designed landslip mitigation fences across the bottom of the slope above the A83 carriageway, however a full safety and geotechnical assessment needs to be completed in the area as a precaution before the road can reopen.
BEAR Scotland operatives and a specialist subcontractor are on site looking at the possibility of opening the Old Military Road diversion route, however this will depend on a full geotechnical assessment determining the safety of this option.  
The standard incident diversion route is being put in place while the assessment takes place as a precaution. 
Further updates will be provided later this morning.
Real time traffic information is available from Traffic Scotland at www.trafficscotland.org, twitter @trafficscotland or the new mobile site my.trafficscotland.org.  

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Winter Maintenance Service gets underway on A92 from Dundee to Arbroath04 Oct 2018

Winter Maintenance Service gets underway on A92 from Dundee to Arbroath

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Winter Maintenance Service gets underway on A92 from Dundee to Arbroath04 Oct 2018

 

Road users of the A92 between Dundee and Arbroath are advised that BEAR Scotland’s winter maintenance service is now underway until 17 May next year.

BEAR Scotland’s experienced winter maintenance team will work around the clock to analyse detailed forecasts and actual weather information from roadside weather sensors to ensure that treatment is carried out at the most appropriate times. 

Treatment of the Carriageway

Precautionary salting will be carried out in advance of freezing conditions to prevent ice forming on the road surface. Resources will be available around-the-clock to provide this service and each treatment will be completed within a maximum of two hours from start to finish.  

Weather conditions can change suddenly and where unexpected conditions arise, reactive salt treatments will take place within one hour. During snow or freezing rain, resources will be deployed continuously until the road is clear and the weather abates.

Warddykes Primary School in Arbroath helped come up with a name for one of the gritters that carries out salt treatments on the A92 between Dundee and Arbroath – the ‘Polar BEAR Express’ – which can be spotted working hard each winter.  

Treatment of Cycleways & Footways

Precautionary salting and snow clearing will be carried between the following times during the winter maintenance period: 

Mondays to Saturdays (except 25 & 26 Dec and 1 & 2 Jan) 0600hrs to 1800hrs

Sundays (and 25 & 26 Dec and 1 & 2 Jan) 0800hrs to 1600hrs

Road users are urged to give consideration to road surface conditions when planning journeys during periods of adverse winter weather.

Alasdair Allen, BEAR Scotland’s Winter Manager for the A92, said: “Weather conditions during the winter months can change suddenly and provide many challenges for the travelling public. We place a real emphasis on prevention at BEAR Scotland and our winter maintenance team work around the clock to ensure surfaces are treated before the worst of the weather hits. During snow or freezing rain, our resources will be deployed continuously until the road is clear. 

“However, motorists must also play their part by being fully prepared for winter. This includes ensuring their vehicle is well maintained, that they pay close attention to local and national media and information websites to help plan journeys during inclement weather, and that they carry equipment to help themselves should conditions deteriorate. 

”The Traffic Scotland website offers up to date information about Scotland’s roads and motorists should always try to plan ahead where possible, especially if unfavourable winter weather conditions  are forecast.”

For day to day issues, enquiries, or to report any defects on the A92 between Dundee and Arbroath please contact BEAR Scotland on 0800 028 9843.

For further information about winter maintenance in the rest of the Dundee City and Angus areas please visit the Councils’ websites at:

www.dundeecity.gov.uk/winterweather & www.angus.gov.uk/wintermaintenance

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Newly named gritter ‘For Your Ice Only’ is set to tackle the upcoming winter02 Oct 2018

Newly named gritter ‘For Your Ice Only’ is set to tackle the upcoming winter

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Newly named gritter ‘For Your Ice Only’ is set to tackle the upcoming winter02 Oct 2018

Classic James Bond film title inspires Milnathort Primary School pupil in naming BEAR Scotland Gritter

A newly named gritter is set to hit the road this winter after pupils from Milnathort Primary School ran a competition to come up with a new imaginative name for the vehicle.

The winning name, For Your Ice Only, was submitted by Primary 2 pupil Rosie White, and was unveiled today in front of the school.  

The 32 tonne, eight-wheeler vehicle – one of the largest in the UK – will be spotted this winter treating the M90 between Perth and Kinross.  For Your Ice Only will now join the likes of Sir Andy Flurry, Gritty Gritty Bang Bang, Plougher O’ Scotland and Sir Grits-a-lot and the rest of the 40-strong fleet of winter vehicles in helping to keep the trunk roads in the north east of Scotland free of ice and snow this winter. 

The competition was launched after the enthusiasm shown by the pupils at Milnathort Primary School towards Transport Scotland’s interactive gritter map, which highlights the location of winter vehicles across trunk roads in Scotland. The school became engaged with the names of the gritters and learning about BEAR’s winter activities online.

BEAR Scotland’s winter service officially began on Monday 1 October, with teams now on stand-by until the end of the winter season in mid-May next year.  Teams in BEAR’s control room will be monitoring conditions across all trunk roads in the north east and north west of the country to help coordinate winter activity where required.  

BEAR Scotland’s Senior Operations Manager for the North East, Alasdair Allen, said: 

“We were so impressed with the interest in our winter service shown by Milnathort Primary School, and we are delighted to unveil the brilliantly named ‘For Your ice Only’ today at the school.

“The pupils came up with some excellent suggestions for new names for the vehicle after learning about how the gritters work to keep roads safe across Scotland during winter, and it’s great to see them so engaged with the trunk road gritter tracker map online.

“Our winter period officially started on Monday, so the pupils will be able to spot For Your Ice Only out treating the M90 when the weather is colder working hard to keep road users safe.”

Sandra McColgan, Headteacher at Milnathort Primary School, said: 

“Last session P1/2 were totally motivated following the interactive gritter map as they were beginning to look at mapping and being able to recognise where Milnathort was on the map of Scotland as well as discussing the weather and the added bonus of the gritter names hooked them in!  

“We were delighted when BEAR Scotland started to notice our enthusiasm for the map and their fleet of gritters via twitter and we’re thrilled to be chosen to name one of their vehicles. We will be following the interactive map even closer this year now that we have a personal interest.”

Look out for newly-named spreader For Your Ice Only throughout the winter through Transport Scotland’s Online Trunk Road Gritter Tracker map, available through the Traffic Scotland website.  

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Embankment repair planned for A9 south of Helmsdale24 Sep 2018

Embankment repair planned for A9 south of Helmsdale

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Embankment repair planned for A9 south of Helmsdale24 Sep 2018

Teams to begin repairs starting on Monday 1 October

 

Works to repair a damaged embankment on the A9 south of Helmsdale after a small section of embankment washed into the field below is due to get underway next week.

Teams have been designing a repair for the area following a geotechnical assessment by specialist engineers.  

The repair will involve building up the damaged embankment using around 450 tonnes of rock which will stabilise the area while still allowing water to drain through. The work is expected to take two weeks.

The road will remain open during the work with temporary traffic lights remaining in place as a precaution to keep the workforce safe and motorists away from the edge of the carriageway during the repair process.  Once complete, the removal of the temporary traffic lights will allow the road to reopen to both lanes.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We’ve installed the temporary traffic lights as a precaution to help ensure motorists are kept safe on the A9 until the repairs are completed.  

“Teams have worked to develop a repair that will involve working from the bottom of the embankment, where approximately 450 tonnes of rock will be built-up on the slope to repair the area.

“Our team will do all they can to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible.

“In the meantime, the temporary traffic lights will remain in place for safety and we’ll continue to monitor the area.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

First posted 23 August:


Temporary traffic lights on A9 south of Helmsdale due to embankment failure

Temporary traffic lights have been erected on the A9 south of Helmsdale after a small section of embankment next to the A9 has washed into the field below.

The embankment is located next to the southbound A9 at Westgarty, around three miles south of Helmsdale, and runs into the field below and away from the road.  

Geotechnical engineers have assessed the site and extent of the embankment failure, and the temporary traffic lights have been installed for safety to help keep motorists away from the edge of the carriageway.

Teams are now working to design a repair for the embankment.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We’ve installed the temporary traffic lights as a precaution to help ensure motorists are safe on the A9.  

“We’re now working to design a repair for the embankment which will allow teams to reopen the road to both lanes.

“We’ll work to keep all stakeholders updated as to the progress of these repairs.

“In the meantime the temporary traffic lights will remain in place for safety and we’ll continue to monitor the area.”

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

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New North East Connections newsletter - out now!07 Sep 2018

New North East Connections newsletter out now

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New North East Connections newsletter - out now!07 Sep 2018

The latest issue of North East Connections is out!  In this issue you'll read all about the latest news from the North East Trunk Road Unit, including information about our recent surfacing projects and a catch-up with our landscaping team who have been hard at work over the summer months.  You can also read more about our involvement in a recent Roadworker Safety Campaign and hear from some of the Graduates we've had working with our teams during the summer.

Click here to read an online copy or download a copy via the link below.

To stay up to date with the latest news from the North East Unit follow us on twitter: @NETrunkRoads

 

downloadBEAR Scotland - North East Connections - Stakeholder Newsletter_September 2018.pdf

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Public Information Exhibition launched on proposals for walking and cycling improvements on the A82 in Inverness24 Aug 2018

Public Information Exhibition launched on proposals for walking and cycling improvements on the A82 in Inverness

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Public Information Exhibition launched on proposals for walking and cycling improvements on the A82 in Inverness24 Aug 2018

A82 Longman Roundabout and Tomnahurich Swing Bridge Study

 

Plans for improved walking and cycling facilities on the A82 between Longman Roundabout and Tomnahurich Swing Bridge have been developed to improve road safety and support active travel in Inverness.

We are looking for feedback from the public on proposals which include  a new footway/cycleway between Longman Roundabout and Telford Road Roundabout. This will improve facilities for residents and visitors who are walking and cycling through this part of the city. 

Further proposals include widening the pavements and additional island refuges in the middle of the road at key crossing locations along the route.  These will reduce the length of time it takes to cross as well as making the crossings, and those using them, more visible to drivers.  We are also proposing a potential signalised crossing on the A82 at Smith Avenue as well as providing additional signalised crossings at the existing Tomnahurich Street/Kenneth Street junction signaals. 

To view the proposals, please click on the link at the bottom of this page.

BEAR Scotland are welcoming feedback on the proposals.  

Commenting on the proposals, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “Improvement measures are being drawn up to improve both the facilities for those crossing the A82 between Longman Roundabout and Tomnahurich Swing Bridge and also for those walking adjacent to the A82 at this location.  These measures will contribute to improved pedestrian safety in the city.

“We are inviting the public to comment on these proposals by emailing us on NWConsultation@bearscotland.co.uk by Friday 12 October.

“We’ll then review all feedback from the community and others with Transport Scotland before any final decisions are made.

“All comments are welcome and we’ll share any outcomes with all relevant stakeholders once available.”

All comments on the proposals can be emailed to BEAR Scotland on NWConsultation@bearscotland.co.uk by Friday 12 October.  

Click the link below to view the proposals.

 

downloadBEAR Scotland - A82 Inverness - Proposals for Walking and Cycling Improvements.pdf

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