Drone surveys carried out ahead of Berwick bridge repairs

Repair works on Berwick’s Old Bridge are set to get underway in September – and the project is combining cutting edge technology with traditional workmanship.
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A road closure order for the listed Grade 1 structure, which will be 400 years old next year, will see the bridge closed to vehicles for several months so repairs to the masonry can be carried out.

The exact start date is still to be confirmed as the work requires Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic England to be in place before any works can begin.

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Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for Improving Our Roads, said: “Berwick Old Bridge is a fabulous and iconic crossing of the Tweed which has stood for centuries and it’s important it’s carefully maintained for the future.

A drone flying over Berwick Old Bridge.A drone flying over Berwick Old Bridge.
A drone flying over Berwick Old Bridge.

“Ahead of the work starting we’ve been using advanced drone surveys to study the bridge, meaning we haven’t had to close it to traffic, and once we’re underway we’ll be using more traditional skills.

“The closure is required to allow us to construct a hanging scaffold to provide working platforms to either side of the bridge, so that we can carry out specialist repairs to the masonry.

“The road will be closed to vehicles for the duration of the work. However, access over the bridge will be maintained for pedestrians although there may be some short-term restrictions while the scaffold is erected and repositioned.

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“As always the council will endeavour to keep disruption and restrictions to a minimum.”

A drone has been carrying out aerial surveys ahead of repair works.A drone has been carrying out aerial surveys ahead of repair works.
A drone has been carrying out aerial surveys ahead of repair works.

Cllr Catherine Seymour, Berwick North, said: “After significant funding and restoration work on our old bridge in recent years, we are to be back on site next month for phase two of work on bridge piers, cutwaters, parapets and masonry in the arch of the 15 span, that has double-barrelled construction to withstand cannon fire - a necessary feature in its time!

“This work will be over a number of months and patience is asked during this time, as it is crucial work to prolong its life."

Cllr Georgina Hill, Berwick East, added: “This is, quite evidently, a really important project and necessary disruption to secure the future of this iconic bridge.

“It is also great to see that a number of residents have come together to help ensure a fitting celebration of its 400th anniversary next year.”

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