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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Atkins-WSP team to be awarded £25M Rest and Be Thankful design contract

Transport Scotland has announced its intention to appoint the Atkins and WSP joint venture to progress design and development work for the landslide hit route in Argyll and Bute.

The Atkins WSP JV has been chosen from among five shortlisted teams that were announced in March of this year.

The contract represents £25M of Scottish Government investment. It is an estimate of the overall contract value for undertaking the design, promotion, procurement and construction supervision of both medium and long-term solutions for the landslide affected A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful.

Scottish transport minister Jenny Gilruth has welcomed the investment as a major milestone in securing a long term resilient route to Argyll and Bute.

"It is clear that the Rest and Be Thankful needs an urgent solution, which will bring certainty to the lives of those directly impacted when the A83 is cut off,” she said.

"This investment from Scottish Government represents a significant milestone because it will allow the vital design work needed to commence at pace.

"Ministers share the urgency communities and businesses place on maintaining and improving connectivity of this vital route, which is why we are progressing measures for the short, medium and long term in tandem.”

She added that proposals for the medium term solution would be brought forward by the end of this year. The preferred route option for the long term will in turn be announced by spring 2023.

The preferred route corridor was revealed in March 2021. It included five possible route options that could incorporate new lengths of carriageway, viaducts, tunnels and debris flow shelters.

Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical worked on the scheme’s £1.8M ground investigation programme earlier this year.

What is the Rest and Be Thankful?

The A83 trunk road is one of only two east-west strategic connections between Argyll and Bute and the Central Belt. The Rest and Be Thankful is the highest point on A83, separating Glen Kinglas from Glen Croe.

It is also one of the places in Scotland with the highest risk of landslides and debris flow hazards. These have increased in recent years due to the frequency of heavy, intense and prolonged periods of rainfall.

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