Scotland looks to Norway for A83 help

Transport Scotland has consulted the Norwegian Government on options for a long-term solution for the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful and has invited five consultants to tender for the next stage of the project.

The five options under consideration for the preferred long-term solution route at Glen Croe are from Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited / Sweco UK Limited; Ove Arup & Fairhurst; Atkins Limited / WSP UK Limited; Stantec UK Ltd / RPS Consulting Services Limited and Jacobs / Aecom.

Looking down Glen Croe from the Rest and Be Thankful, with the A83 on the hillside

Transport Scotland said that to help inform the design work, discussions have been held with the Norwegian Government, ‘to learn lessons from their wide experience of constructing tunnels’.

It said that Norway’s roads network contains many tunnels due to the landscape of the country, which is similar to that found at the Rest and Be Thankful, and that it has been keen to learn about Norway’s processes and methods for developing and constructing tunnelling projects.

Plans are also being progressed for a medium term resilient route – also through Glen Croe – with finalised proposals expected this autumn, ‘in recognition of the disruptive closures’ caused by frequent landslides onto the road.

Last week transport minister Jenny Gilruth met the A83 Task Force to update the group on progress and consult members on the plans.

She said: ‘Identifying the preferred route corridor for a resilient long-term solution last year was a major step forward for this vital work. With the shortlisting of five design consultants, we hope to appoint the best candidate to take forward that work as soon as due process allows. But other work will continue in the meantime.

‘We intend to finalise proposals for the medium-term solution for the resilient route through Glen Croe by the Autumn. Ground investigations are now underway to help inform the design work for both the medium and long-term options.

‘As two of the five options for the long term solution include a tunnel, we have held discussions with the Norwegian Government. As the project progresses, we will continue to learn from Norway’s experience, and that of other relevant communities and countries as we work towards finding the right solution to meet the need to create a truly resilient and safe route for the A83’

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