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Council to target more Stromeferry rock faces in 2019

Highland Council has said that remediation work on the rock faces above the A890 Stromeferry Bypass next year is expected to include four “very high” risk slopes identified in a report earlier this year.

The council is currently in the third year of a five year geotechnical inspection contract with Aecom, which highlighted the issues at the four locations that the council is planning to tackle in 2019.

Highland Council head of infrastructure Colin Howell said: “Given the current challenging financial situation, the long term solution remains an aspiration. We will continue to monitor the slopes and undertake works to maintain this lifeline link.”

The council said much of the rock face above the bypass, which opened in 1970, has been netted to mitigate the risk of falling rocks reaching the road and railway. However, the reports from Aecom are being used to prioritise areas in need of additional work and resulted in three sections undergoing remedial work over the last two years.

According to Highland Council, one slope will call for reinstatement of the road to rail bypass that is being used by the current stabilisation works, another will call for weekend closures and the remaining two can be delivered under traffic management.

The council has also reported that work on the current remedial works is progressing well with rock anchor installation continuing and sections of rock netting now draped over the rock face.

Highland Council chair of environment, development and infrastructure Allan Henderson said: “The work at Stromeferry is progressing well, and the new signaling has made a huge difference. We remain committed as a Council to undertaking the stabilising of the rock slopes and we will ensure that funding is provided to undertake future priority works. The monitoring work that officers currently do will be backed up with geotechnical expertise from our consultants. Full costings will need to be done as we try to accelerate the funds for high priority repairs such as this. We also need to consider possible speed limits in the area to safeguard travellers.”

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