A LANDSLIP-PLAGUED iconic trunk road is to be shut again this weekend - just two days after it was re-opened after the latest round of safety repairs.

It means the A83 at the Rest And Be Thankful has been open for just 14 days since the first of two landslides hit the vital route nearly two months ago.

It was only re-opened at 7.45am on Thursday under traffic light control after being closed because of heavy rain the previous day.

A second landslide in just over a month on September 13 meant the road was shut for ten days having been previously out of action for over a month.

Maintenance firm BEAR Scotland has said the A83 will be shut again "as a safety precaution" due to the forecast of heavy rain over the weekend.

It said their teams are on standby for heavy rain across much of Scotland this weekend as heavy rain and high winds brought in by Storm Alex are set to impact the country.

The Met Office has issued an Amber warning for heavy rain across parts of the north east of Scotland from 6pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday morning. A Yellow warning is in force across the eastern area of the country as well as the northern coasts from 3am tomorrow morning until 12 noon on Sunday.

READ MORE: A83 at Rest and be Thankful open for just 12 days in nearly two months shuts yet again

As much as 60mm rain is expected to fall in parts of the north east with localised gusts of between 40 and 50mph forecast as a result of the storm over the weekend.

BEAR Scotland said the decision has been taken to close the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful and redirect traffic to the single track Old Military Road (OMR) from mid-afternoon on Saturday, with teams expecting to reopen the A83 on Sunday afternoon once the rain passes.

The firm said this follows the recent landslips in the area and concerns from geotechnical engineers about the impact of such heavy rain on the scarred hillside.

And they warned the timing of the use of the OMR which runs parallel to the A83 through Glen Croe, will depend on actual weather experienced on site and will be kept to a minimum as much as possible.

Landslide patrols are being deployed across trunk roads in the north west to provide additional response and monitoring of conditions on the ground. All response teams have pumps to deal with any excess water with four gully tankers also available to help clear any larger incidents of flooding on the network. Landscaping teams are on standby and equipped with chainsaws to help remove any fallen trees.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s north west representative said: “This weekend sees various severe weather warnings in place across large areas of Scotland, with heavy rain and high winds expected to have an impact across most of the country. Our teams in both the north east and north west areas are on standby to deal with any incident which impacts the networks we maintain.

“With heavy rain forecast in the Argyll area we’ve taken the decision to close the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful from Saturday mid-afternoon and divert traffic via the OMR as a safety precaution, with a view to reopening the road on Sunday afternoon once the storm passes.

“We’re leading with a safety-first approach and the advice from our geotechnical team is that this weekend’s weather could have an impact on the steep channels on the hillside, and we’ll be closely monitoring conditions in the area throughout the weekend.

“We’re expecting to reopen the A83 under traffic light control on Sunday afternoon following a safety inspection once the storm has passed.

"We have arranged for patrols of the network to be completed at affected areas through the warning period and we also have our incident response teams available to deal with any flooding issues across trunk roads in the north, as well as gully tankers and pumps on standby to help ensure trunk roads are kept clear."

Ministers have previously been accused of wasting nearly £80 million on more than a decade of failed solutions to landslides on the road after the latest multiple slips in heavy rainfall.

Some locals have called for a public inquiry into the problems, with many saying a permanent solution must be found.

Last week Transport Scotland published details of the 11 "corridor options" for a new route to replace the landslip-prone section of the A83 include building up to three bridges or tunnels.

But the choice of solution is not expected till next year.

A landslide on August 4 led to another lengthy closure, and came as 100mm of rain fell in the Argyll area blocking the A83.

The source of the landslip was located around 200m high above the A83, which split into two main channels as it spread out in a “fan effect” down the hillside.

One of the channels filtered into one of the landslip mitigation catch-pits which prevented around 2,000 tonnes of material from reaching the road, with around 1,500 tonnes of debris reaching the carriageway at the second channel. Car-sized boulders also reached the roadside in the debris. A further 2,000 tonnes of material was washed onto the OMR.

In total, the landslide is thought to have moved around 10,000 tonnes of debris on the hillside following detailed geotechnical calculations of the hillside, making it one of the largest landslips in recent times. Earlier estimates put the original figure at 6,000 tonnes.

On August 6, a further 100 tonnes of material reached the carriageway overnight via the steep channel scoured out by Tuesday’s landslip, exposing large boulders. Teams worked to make these boulders safe using water-bags dropped into position from a helicopter as well as using a high-pressured hydraulic ‘jack’ to force the boulders into a new, safer position further down the steep channel.

Teams completed the clear-up of 2,000 tonnes of debris from the OMR on August 7 and began work to construct a protective bund and channel parallel to the roadside.

The A83 reopened under traffic light control at around 10.25am on September 7. But the A83 and OMR were closed on September 12 due to forecast intense rain. This triggered a landslide which brought over 2,000 tonnes of material to the A83 with some reaching the OMR the following day.

The clearance of the debris started on September 14 as 5,000 tonnes of material had reached the A83 and OMR.