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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Landslide repairs 'well on track'
Lochearnhead repairs
Full repairs will be completed after the New Year
Work to repair mudslide damage to the A85 at Lochearnhead by spring next year are on target, according to contactors.

The road was damaged in a massive landslide during heavy rains and storms which hit the UK a month ago.

At the time rescue helicopters managed to airlift 57 motorists to safety when the surrounding hillside gave way.

A spokesman for roads operators Bear Scotland said work was progressing well and that traffic was beginning to flow relatively freely.

The mud and rubble cascaded 1,200 ft from the hillside to the bottom of the valley, smashing through he road.

Bear Scotland are to receive 1.5m government funding over the next six months to help complete repairs at the site and other flood-hit sites across Scotland.

Rescue operation

The repairs include installing heavy-duty rock sidings to burns and streams to reinforce them in event of future downpours.

Much of the renovation work on one side of the bridge at Lochearnhead has now been completed and is moving to the other side of the crossing.

Alan Mackenzie, from Bear Scotland, said: "We've spent three-quarters of a million pounds already doing the immediate repairs.

"The traffic situation on the A85 - the lights will be on for another couple of weeks and then we will have lights on during the day after that.

"But they will be taken off at nights and the weekends so motorists should have a relatively free-flowing time through the site now."

The progress is being carefully monitored in the nearby communities of Killin and Lochearnhead, particularly amongst local businesses, which have experienced a quiet few weeks.

Members of the local community council are also pressing for compensation schemes for businesses.

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