Drivers are thanked as bridges reopen

Station Bridge in Stow.
Station Bridge in Stow.

Two Borders bridges have been reopened this week after lengthy closures, to the great relief of many drivers.

The three-month. £250,000 repair programme to ensure the long-term future of Station Bridge in Stow began in August, and a temporary footbridge was also installed for pedestrians.

A full two-week closure of the bridge was needed this month to complete the repairs, which were finished two days early by SBC Contracts.

The bridge is the main route to Stow Rail Station, as well as the village’s primary school and health centre.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and Infrastructure, Councillor Gordon Edgar, said: “Station Bridge is a hugely important crossing to Stow and the surrounding area, which is why these works were so vital.

“I am delighted the repairs went so well and were completed ahead of schedule.

“We would like to thank all local residents and commuters during the closure, including the primary school and health centre, for their patience and understanding.

“The council successfully completed repairs to Lowood Bridge earlier this year, and have committed over £22million in roads and bridges over the next three years, with £79m planned investment over the next 10 years.

“This includes the additional £1.8m investment for 2018/19 to target road repairs across the region.”

Also back open in both directions on November 18 was the Galafoot Bridge between Galashiels and Tweedbank.

The bridge has undergone extensive concrete and steel repairs, with the bridge closed to westbound traffic since the first week in August, leading to a lengthy detour for drivers, which was extended further when it was discovered that the damage to the concrete on the bridge was worse than first thought. However, phase two of this operation still needs to be completed, and the work on the Eastbound carriageway will begin in February 2019.

Stuart Wallace, bridges manager for road maintenance operator Amey said: “We regret the inconvenience, frustration and disappointment these emergency works have caused the local community and we will ensure that the lessons learned from Phase 1 of these works are applied in Phase 2.