Old Bridge to close to traffic for three weeks

Repairs to a damaged section of Berwick's Old Bridge are due to be carried out early in the new year.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 13:30 pm
A damaged section of the Old Bridge in Berwick.

Works are scheduled to begin on Monday, January 7, and be completed within three weeks.

The lengthy timescale includes allowances for the installation and removal of the scaffold access platform required to carry out the repair work.

Northumberland County Council is currently awaiting Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic England before it can carry out the repairs to the Grade I-listed structure.

The road, which provides a key route out of lower Berwick into Tweedmouth, will be closed to vehicles while repairs are undertaken, although it is hoped to maintain access for pedestrians

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An emergency inspection had to be carried out last month after a small section of Pier 8 fell into the River Tweed.

Concerns have been voiced locally in recent years about the perceived deterioration of the bridge.

Although the council said there was inevitably some decay and wear and tear, particularly in the tidal water zone, assurances were given that there is no safety risk.

At the time, a council spokesman said: “We understand that people may be concerned about the external appearance of some parts of the bridge, however we can provide reassurance that there is no risk to its overall structural integrity and the damage identified at the pier does not pose any public safety issues.

“The council carries out regular inspections to check for any significant changes in condition. Plans are also in place to carry out more significant restoration work over the next few years to secure the long-term future of the iconic bridge.”

The Old Bridge dates back to 1611 and was virtually complete by 1625-1626, however, there are references to paving the bridge and finishing in the parapet in 1626-27. The bridge succeeded several former bridges, which were constructed from wood and date back to at least the 12th century.