Teams working to remediate the slopes above Rest and Be Thankful on the A83 following landslides earlier this week have dealt with two of the three boulders that were at risk of falling onto the road.
The route remained closed overnight and work is expected to start on hydraulically breaking the third boulder today.
Transport Scotland’s term maintenance contractor Bear Scotland has said that it hopes to open the Old Military Road diversion route once the third boulder is broken up.
Bear said that the diversion route has now been cleared of debris from the landslides on Tuesday and a geotechnical inspection has cleared the road for use once the third boulder is removed.
The boulders became exposed after around 2,500 tonnes of material from multiple landslips was caught in specialist debris netting above the A83 carriageway on Tuesday, preventing most of the debris from reaching the roadside.
Bear said that the boulders were 300m above the road level and the largest weighed around 75t. The landslide originated at about 330m above the carriageway – one of the highest recorded in recent years.
Despite the size of the landslide, around 2,500t of material was caught by rockfall catch fences. Over the past six years, the range of landslip mitigation measures installed at the Rest and Be Thankful are estimated to have prevented the A83 from closing for at least 23 days in total.
Bear Scotland north west network manager Tommy Deans, said: “Teams have worked tirelessly on the hillside above the A83 to do all they can to make safe the boulders on the route, with work on the third boulder almost complete.
“Safety remains our top priority, and although we have prepared the Old Military Road so it is ready to open we can only do so once the go-ahead is given from the geotechnical assessment. That said, we remain hopeful that teams will be able to achieve this sometime today ahead of the weekend.
“In the meantime we remind road users that Argyll remains open for business, and rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get the Old Military Road open as soon as we can.
“We encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally in the meantime, and to plan ahead by checking the Traffic Scotland website for up to date journey information.”