Berwick Old Bridge set to reopen to traffic in July after delays to £900,000 repair project

A £900,000 project to restore and refurbish Berwick’s historic Old Bridge is entering its final weeks.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:05 pm

Waterproofing and repairs to the masonry parapets of the Grade I listed structure spanning the River Tweed began last October.

Delays to the reproofing of the bridge deck, partly caused by severe weather over the winter, have put the completion date back slightly.

The work was due to be completed by the spring but it is currently planned to reopen the bridge to pedestrians by mid-June with vehicle traffic being permitted in July.

Berwick's Old Bridge.

The 17th century bridge is one of the main routes for southbound traffic from Berwick to Tweedmouth.

Cllr Catherine Seymour, member for Berwick North on Northumberland County Council, said: “The Old Bridge is an iconic structure for the town and this scheme will help ensure that it is protected for future generations.

“That is why I will continue to press for its funding as one of my priorities on the Local Transport Plan for further heritage restoration phases until completion.

“We are gearing up for a very busy summer in the area and looking forward to the work being completed as soon as possible, as it is crucial for shops and traders that have been affected by this necessary work to recover their businesses.”

Cllr Georgina Hill, who represents Berwick East, added: “I know that residents have missed being able to cross the Old Bridge and it has added time to many daily journeys but it was vital that this work was done to safeguard the bridge’s future.”

The final phase of refurbishment works will target improvements to the masonry work on the arches, piers, cutwaters and abutments.

The work will take place over three further phases over the next three years with the first starting later this year.

This work followed the £250,000 funding already invested in its repair over the past two years.

The iconic 15-arch structure was built between 1611 and 1634 by James Burrell out of red sandstone. The bridge was almost complete in 1621, but severe flooding caused damage which put back its completion by several years.

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