ALMOST a year to the day after a landslide blocked the A83 – Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has completed work to stabilise the forest road that was in part washed away in the same incident.

The road which runs parallel to the A83 but higher up the slope, gives FLS access to forests and land that it manages at Glen Croe.

The January 2020 event was the result of exceptionally heavy rain, that had first of all caused a mini-slip that blocked an uphill drainage culvert, that saw water dam up, overflow the forest road and wash away over 1,000 tonnes of debris that landed on the road.

FLS planning manager, John Hair, said: “The road blockage itself took a lot of clearing up and we initially focused on stabilising the landslip channel and constructing a catch pit to prevent any more debris from reaching the road surface.

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“It was a seven-days-a-week job to make the area safe, an operation that included having to underpin a 50 metre stretch of the forest road to strengthen it and prevent any further major collapse.

“Once that had been completed, we were able to look at the longer term effort to carry out all the work required to make the forest road safe.

“After drilling 300 steel bars 10 metres into the hillside, putting a concrete wall and beam in place, adding a guard rail and securing the downhill slope with 600 m² of steel mesh, our forest road is open again.”

FLS engineers will now reinstate the forest road by constructing an additional retaining wall above it, widening the running surface and relocating the roadside drain.

Led by Forestry and Land Scotland, the team included the geotechnical engineers and consultants involved in resilience works elsewhere on the Rest & Be Thankful, and partners Transport Scotland and BEAR.

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