Work starts on major scheme to repair Royal Border Bridge in Berwick

A project to repair all 28 arches of the iconic Royal Border Bridge in Berwick is underway.

By Andrew Coulson
Friday, 21st January 2022, 6:55 pm
The Royal Border Bridge in Berwick.
The Royal Border Bridge in Berwick.

Work on the scheme, led by Network Rail, began earlier this month and will run until November.

Members of the public are invited to find out more about what will take place at an online event next week.

Carefully planned structural repairs should mean that the Grade 1 listed viaduct will not require any major maintenance work for the next 30 years, allowing the landmark to be enjoyed for years to come without impacting the community.

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A variety of masonry, brickwork and crack stitching repairs are planned to preserve a structure designed by Robert Stephenson and opened by Queen Victoria in 1850.

With two arches set to be sorted this month, workers are timetabled to carry out brickwork repairs to either two, three or four arches each month between February and October.

Further repairs to various arches will take place in the remaining two months of the project.

Sarah Reid, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “In this feat of engineering, we’ll be repairing the iconic Royal Border Bridge so that it can continue to transport passengers between England and Scotland along the East Coast Main Line and, crucially, be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

“I know this is a well-loved landmark, so I’d encourage anyone who wants to find out more about our work to come along to the online information event and ask any questions they have.”

Site facilities, scaffolding and a rope access system will all be installed during the work. This is vital to allow teams to work safely.

The footpath along the bridge will also remain open throughout to minimise the impact on the community.

Network Rail is holding the online information event on Thursday, January 27 from 6pm to 7pm. Members of the project team will be on hand to explain the work in more detail and answer any questions residents may have.

Those wishing to join should go to https://bit.ly/31YwsNn as the event starts.

Before the bridge was built, the journey between stations at Berwick and Tweedmouth on either side of the river was undertaken by a horse drawn coach.