Northumberland bridge to reopen to traffic earlier than expected
Berwick’s Old Bridge is set to reopen to both traffic and pedestrians later this month.
Its reopening to traffic had been scheduled for July but has now been brought forward to June 22.
Northumberland County Council has been aware of the concerns of traders about the closure and, following a review of recent progress with the essential maintenance works has said the reopening for vehicles can be brought forward as improved progress has been made in good weather.
There will still be a need for a further short temporary closure for pedestrians and traffic towards the end of July, to allow for the application of a high quality ‘Rocbinda’ surface treatment on the concrete footways to provide a hard wearing and durable finish with a superior visual appearance. This closure will be for five days, from 8am to 4pm each day, with the bridge opened again each evening.
Teams have been working since last autumn on a £900,000 project to waterproof the bridge deck, relay the road surface and footways, repair the masonry parapets and install new LED Lighting. This work has followed £250,000 repairs over the past two years.
Further works are being planned over the next three years on improvements to the masonry on the arches, piers, cutwaters and abutments.
Cllrr John Riddle, cabinet member for local services, said: “I am very pleased that our teams have been able to make good progress on this essential work on the Old Bridge, and that we are going to be able to open it to vehicles earlier than envisaged. We recognise the difficulties that closure causes to local traders. ”
Cllr Catherine Seymour, Berwick North, said: “I am delighted that residents and businesses will once again have full use of our 410-year-old historic bridge over the River Tweed. Berwick is lined up for significant investment, and transport links both old and new will play a key part in the success of the projects that are underway and to come."
Cllr Georgina Hill, Berwick East, added: “Residents have really missed being able to cross the Old Bridge so the imminent reopening is really good news. I am also glad that this is happening before the tourism season gets in to full swing and just ahead of the cruise ships coming.”