Lowood Bridge to be shut for two weeks for emergency works

Lowood Bridge.
Lowood Bridge.

Lowood Bridge, near Melrose, is to be closed for two weeks for emergency works

The closure will be 24 hours a day from Monday, December 4, until Monday, December 18, to allow repairs to the parapet walls of the B-listed structure to be carried out.

Diversions signs will be put up, the alternative route being via the A6091, A7 through Galashiels and B6374.

Pedestrian access will also be restricted during the closure, with the Chain Bridge at Gattonside offering an alternative route for walkers.

Bus services 60, 61, 67 and 68 will operate to and from Galashiels via the Kingsknowe Roundabout to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose.

Service 71 from Galashiels to Melrose will operate via Winston Road, Tweed Road and A6091 to the hospital, and Queen Elizabeth Square in Melrose Gait will be served in both directions. However, the 71 bus will not go via Paton Street and Bank Street for Galashiels transport interchange.

The bridge will close again in January, on a date yet to be confirmed, for 20 weeks for a major repair and strengthening programme costing £640,000.

Once next year’s works are completed, the 26-tonne weight limit in force on the bridge at the moment will be lifted.

Improvements to the nearby Galafoot Bridge on the A6091 by trunk road operator Amey will take place later in 2018 to avoid a clash with the Lowood Bridge works. However, Amey might need to carry out some short-term emergency works at the same time as the Lowood Bridge closure.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, said: “In order to carry out these works to the parapet walls of the bridge safely, a full closure for two weeks is needed.

“It was felt important to reopen the bridge for the festive period, with the full repairs and strengthening works to follow in January 2018.”

“We understand these closures will cause disruption to the local community and commuters, but this investment will ensure this vital transport link can be used for many years to come.”

The works are part of a programme of bridge repairs also taking in Clackmae Bridge near Earlston, Bowanhill Bridge near Teviothead and Bowden Church Bridge.