Aberdeenshire Council has said that interim remedial works to a slope failure in Gardenstown will start next week.
Bam Ritchies will undertake the soil nailing and steel mesh solution designed by Atkins to allow the road to the lower part of the village, which has been subject to closures since the slope failure in November last year, to be reopened.
The plan is one of six options presented to the council last week that range from unsupervised reopening of the road through to the planned soil nailing and mesh installation with slope monitoring.
According to Atkins’ report, the option selected by the council “aims to reduce the risks associated with installation of a temporary system”. Atkins has said that although this option has the highest cost, it “significantly reduces the health and safety risks exposed to road users, pedestrians, the houses at the toe and the church at the crest”.
Ritchies will start work on the seven-week long scheme on 23 April by installing slope monitoring equipment before moving onto installing the 6m long soil nails at 3m centres and mesh.
Aberdeenshire Council head of roads, landscape and waste services Philip McKay said: “The current plan is that the road remains closed initially, while the slope monitoring is installed, with that being complete and the road open on Friday, April 27.
“However this is dependent on the successful installation of a monitoring system linked to traffic lights which can stop access should any movement be detected. This system will be in place for the entire duration of the works to install the soil nails and mesh.
“Unfortunately, even with this system in place road openings cannot be guaranteed as the slope will still be susceptible to periods of poor weather and this may result in further restrictions having to be put in place.
“Clearly this is a dynamic and complex situation – so there may also be factors out of our control which determine whether the road is open or closed as work progresses, but we will continue to communicate closely with the community.”