Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has said that work to remove rock debris that closed the A82 between Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit last week progressed well over the weekend and the route was reopened this morning.
The route was closed on 12 March after several large blocks of rock fell from a slope within the commission’s land.
Investigations identified a number of other unstable blocks of rock on the slopes above the road and FCS has said that the next phase of work was focused on breaking these up and removing them.
“Our geotechnical team Geo-rope has completed the operation to break the boulders into smaller, more manageable pieces,” said FCS steep ground programme manager Alex Macleod. “However, the road needed to stay closed until the next phase of the operation – to secure and make safe the material on the slope – was completed.
“The challenges presented by the site mean that a helicopter had to be brought in to ferry more catch fencing and anchoring materials to the site swiftly and the team worked hard to progress things quickly, and safely, over the weekend.
According to Macleod, heavy plant was brought in over the weekend to break down and remove material that had fallen to the road surface.
The road was reopened at 6am today but FCS has warned that further work on the slope is needed. “The immediate issue has been dealt with and made safe,” explained Macleod. “However, during a final inspection that included areas of the hillside higher up the slope, it was clear that there are other areas of concern.
“We were scheduled to come to this site in September but in light of recent events we will liaise with our geotechnical contractors, and the consultant engineers from Mott McDonald, to review our operations plan.”