Transport Scotland has confirmed that the new emergency relief route on the A83 is now operational with vehicle convoy testing underway.
The route will be used to keep traffic flowing in the event of another landslide incident on the Rest and Be Thankful.
“While some cosmetic works will continue in the coming weeks, the ‘Old Military Road’ at the Rest is now operational, and we are running test vehicle convoys to ready the team on the ground should we face another unwanted road closure because of a landslip,” said Transport Minister Keith Brown.
“The emergency services will welcome this development which will help them to enhance their contingency planning arrangements, and hauliers and locals will also welcome the shorter diversion route which help them realise time and fuel savings. Our focus through this project to identify longer term measures to address the issue of landslips in the area, has been to ensure Argyll stays open for business.
The emergency route opening was timed to coincide with the latest meeting of the A83 taskforce, which was convened last summer in response to the ongoing landslide disruption on the A83.
The taskforce were due to discuss the landslide mitigation measures proposed in a report published by Jacobs in late December last year. However, the only new development to be announced following the meeting was the allocation of £4M more in funding for work on the existing route.
Brown said: “This investment will take forward a raft of improvements including further mitigation work at the Rest and Be Thankful like netting, drainage and planting works, and more safety improvements at key points on the A83. This is additional to the £3.7M already provided to help tackle landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful.”