Work to tackle a landslip at a north east village Crovie has been completed, Aberdeenshire Council has reported.
A landslip closed the access road to the Crovie in September 2017, meaning it can only be accessed on foot. Since August Geo-Rope has been working to install a mesh system over the affected slope, secured by soil nails, to stop further movement and enable the road above the slip to reopen.
The road had been expected to reopen in the middle of November, but reopened on Friday 19 October.
According to Aberdeenshire Council, the landslip has been worsening since 2009 and it took the precautionary measure to close the road to vehicles in September 2017, meaning access was only possible on foot.
The £0.5M scheme included 500m² of mesh installed over the face of the slope, attached to 172 soil nails driven into the ground. Hollow drainage kerbs have also been installed on the road.
Additional drainage has been built into the slope and the road, to help protect homes and the access road, which has also been fully reconstructed to repair earlier damage caused by the slip.
Local councillors who allocated funding for the work had heard that if action was not taken there was significant risk of increased cost to deal with a larger slippage in future and the potential for substantial damage to properties.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Committee chair Peter Argyle said: “This was an extremely difficult and technical situation, requiring specialist expertise and significant sums of money, so I’m very pleased to see it conclude successfully.
“The council is not obliged to carry out this kind of work, but recognised the issues being faced by the community and the potential negative impact on tourism and I’m pleased we’ve been able to give the community peace of mind into the future.”
Banff and Buchan Area Committee chair Andy Kille added: “I’m very pleased the council recognised the issues being faced by the communities in Crovie and Gardenstown and was able to offer solutions to their landslips.
“Access to these villages is not only important for those who live and work there, but also for Aberdeenshire’s growing tourism industry, being famous all over the world.
“I’m delighted to see Crovie’s access road reopen - the quality of the work looks excellent and capable of withstanding the worst of the weather this coast will no doubt throw at it.”
The first phase of works there was completed in June 2018, where soil nails and mesh were again used to secure the slope above the village’s Harbour Road and properties below.
The slope will continue to be monitored and discussions are ongoing on possible solutions for further stabilisation of the slope if required.
The Scottish Government has told the council no financial assistance is available to help minimise the impact on its resources caused by work to protect nearby Gardenstown or Crovie from landslips.
Earlier this month Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid called for a national fund to be established to help coastal communities tackling erosion and landslips.