PLANS to begin work on a road on the Gwent border which was closed in February due to a landslide have taken a step forward.

Work to clear the A40 on the Herefordshire / Monmouthshire border following a landslide in February 2024 has taken a step forward with proposals put forward to remove the debris.

National Highways route manager, Joseph Walmsley, said the team need to "strike a balance" between getting the debris removed safely and quickly, while minimising disruption on the busy road for drivers and local communities.

South Wales Argus: A landslide on the A40 on the Monmouthshire border caused a main road to be closedA landslide on the A40 on the Monmouthshire border caused a main road to be closed (Image: National Highways)

Traffic management specialists have drawn up four options which will give roadworkers safe working space at Leys Bend for the debris to be removed and for more detailed surveys to be carried out on the embankment.

Mr Walmsley said: “Our experts have now devised four options for closing the road to enable the removal to take place but we want to get input from our key stakeholders and local authorities to make sure we choose the option that will best suit everyone.

One lane is currently closed on the eastbound carriageway with a temporary concrete barrier in place to stop further rocks falling into the path of traffic.

The National Highways route manager added that safety is their top priority, "which is why we have had to partially close the road but we are aware of the disruption this incident has caused and are anxious to limit any further disturbance as much as possible.”

The four options given by traffic management specialists are:

  • Four full weekend closures of the A40 during the school holidays this summer

  • A contraflow reducing the road to one lane in each direction beginning in September and remaining in place until mid-October with some lane and overnight closures in August and October

  • Four full weekend closures in September, avoiding the main summer holiday period

  • A contraflow put in place in October, after the summer, and in place until early November with some overnight closures in September and November.

Potential diversion routes during the closures are also being considered but all will aim to reroute the traffic away from Monmouth town.

Since the rockfall in February, engineers have been looking into the damage caused, the stability of the hillside and options for repairs.

The route manager added that investigations into the "complex situation" have been thorough to make sure repairs can be done safely and not affect the stability of the hillside.

Mr Walmsley added: "We are grateful to people for their continued patience while we deal with this unexpected situation.”