Welcome return for river crossing in Hawick
A Hawick river crossing which has been closed to the public for almost six months returned today, July 26, as a new replacement bridge was lowered back into place.
The Victoria Bridge, which crosses the Teviot between Bath Street and Teviot Crescent, has been on a leave of absence since February as work was carried out to construct a new river crossing as part of the town’s ongoing £88m flood defence scheme.
A few folk who had been hoping to witness the structure being carefully lowered back this afternoon missed the opportunity when the operation was carried out slightly earlier that expected when conditions proved to be perfect to do so.
Nevertheless, its return has been welcomed.
During its absence there have been diversion routes available via North Bridge Street or the James Thomson Bridge.
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall acknowledged that the closure has caused townsfolk inconvenience.
But he believes the completed work demonstrates that the long-awaited flood defence scheme is moving very much in the right direction.
He said: “Earlier today our town and its flood scheme took yet another major step forward with the delivery of the replacement Victoria Bridge and I know townsfolk will be thrilled to see it in place and open for access soon which will in turn reconnect this particular part of Hawick with Commercial Road.
“I would like to thank townsfolk and visitors alike for their patience because since February of this year they have been faced with quite a detour whilst the contractors Mclaughlin and Harvey made way for today’s new arrival.
“Since 1851 there has always been a bridge across this part of the River Teviot and I know for the past six months or so townsfolk have really missed not having it around.”
It is expected the public will be able to start crossing the new structure towards the end of next month, after works are fully completed and safety testing carried out.