Weather scuppers bridge re-opening

James Thompson Bridge, Hawick
James Thompson Bridge, Hawick
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PLANS to reopen the award-winning James Thompson footbridge in Hawick before the New Year have been dashed by the weather.

The structure, unveiled as part of the Heart of Hawick project in 2005, was closed to the public recently after a stay became detached above the River Teviot.

David Cunningham, Scottish Borders Council’s project manager (structures), contacted Hawick councillors last week to confirm the delay.

He said that Macalloy, a specialist firm from Sheffield, had been due to visit the site on Monday to tension the stay which has been reconnected by main contractor Borders Construction and carry out adjustments to other stays, but were turned back by the extreme weather.

“Macalloy have advised us that due to the current weather and forecast, they will be unable to arrive on site until after the Christmas break,” explained Mr Cunningham.

He went on: “It has to be said, however, that Borders Construction have performed well in undertaking their operations under challenging weather conditions.

“Regrettably, although we were very near getting the bridge open for Christmas, the current extreme weather has finally prevented this.

“It should be possible to get the bridge open in January so long as the low temperatures ease up.”