New 90m-long footbridge on way to Selkirk

The Bridge Street footbridge in Selkirk is set to be replaced. Picture: SBC
The Bridge Street footbridge in Selkirk is set to be replaced. Picture: SBC

The latest milestone in the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme will see a new 90-metre long footbridge lifted into place next week.

The steel and timber structure will be transported to Selkirk on Wednesday September 2 in three sections and then lifted into position over the Ettrick Water on Thursday and Friday September 3 and 4.

The new crossing will replace the previous Bridge Street footbridge, and will link South Bridge Street to Bannerfield.

A viewing area at Murray Place will be set up in advance to allow members of the public to watch the installation of the bridge from a safe location.

Specific timings for the transportation of the bridge and when members of the public can watch the structure being lifted into place are being finalised and will be confirmed as soon as available on Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) social media pages and the Scheme’s website – www.selkirkfloodscheme.com.

The new three span bridge is an integral part of the Scheme’s flood protection defences and has been designed so it can remain open during major flood events.

It is also wider than the previous bridge to allow better access for wheelchairs and buggies, while the deck itself is covered in a special treatment which will reduce the risk of slipping in icy conditions.

The bridge remains on schedule to open to the public by the end of September.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “It will be an impressive and welcome sight to see the new bridge lifted into place.

“The closure of the Bridge Street footbridge has resulted in pedestrian diversions and we understand the inconvenience this has caused. We thank members of the public for their co-operation.

“However, an improved crossing will now be in its place, which will be open even during the most severe weather.”

Conor Price, project manager for the scheme, said: “We are now eight months into the two year flood protection scheme, and I am pleased to see the significant progress made so far.

“The project team and the main contractor, RJ McLeod, have been working hard all summer to ensure that the replacement of the bridge is completed to programme and that this important link to Bannerfield is reopened as quickly as possible.”

Once completed, a total of 595 properties in the Bannerfield, Philiphaugh and Riverside areas will be protected from the risk of a major flood event thanks to the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme.

The Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme formally began in October 2009 following severe flash flooding in May 2003 and August 2004 which caused significant damage.