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'Suspended' footbridge over River Teviot set for safety overhaul

image copyrightHighways England
image captionThe footbridge hangs from the viaduct which was built in 1850

A historic footbridge hanging from a former railway viaduct in the Borders is to get a major safety overhaul.

The structure over the River Teviot has been damaged by flooding as well as "general decay" and corrosion.

The viaduct, near the villages of Roxburgh and Heiton, was built in 1850 and the footbridge is now part of the popular Border Abbeys pedestrian way.

Repair work will start on 29 October and will require the closure of the bridge until spring next year.

image copyrightJim Barton
image captionFlooding and "general decay" have seen the condition of the bridge decline

Refurbishment work to the footbridge on the Roxburgh Viaduct - often referred to as the Teviot Viaduct - will be carried out by Highways England.

It inherited responsibility for thousands of former railway structures in 2015.

Fiona Smith, civil engineer for Highways England's Historical Railways Estate, said: "The suspended pedestrian bridge has been impacted from flooding as well as suffering with general decay and corrosion.

"It is therefore necessary for the structure, which hangs along a picturesque location over the River Teviot, to be sensitively repaired to maintain public safety and for future generations to enjoy."

image copyrightGordon Hatton
image captionThe structure across the River Teviot is part of a popular walking route

Refurbishment work on the footbridge will see the spans lifted and taken to a specialist workshop for repair and refurbishment.

Some elements may be replaced depending on the severity of corrosion.

New timbers will also be installed across the deck and once repairs have been completed, the footbridge will be reinstalled from the deck of the listed viaduct.

image copyrightJim Barton
image captionIt is hoped the bridge will reopen to the public in spring next year

An environmental management plan will be in place for the duration of the work to ensure the protection of the River Teviot and its ecosystem.

The footbridge will be shut later this week and pedestrians will be diverted to the deck of the viaduct during the refurbishment.

All images are copyrighted.

Related Topics

  • Roxburgh
  • Highways England