RESTORATION work on the famous Union Chain Bridge connecting Scotland to England is nearly complete.
The 202-year-old bridge, which links Fishwick in Berwickshire to Horncliffe in Northumberland, was closed in October 2020.
Engineers have dismantled the world’s oldest vehicle suspension bridge and are inspecting, repairing, and refurbishing each component.
All the chains and deck hangers have now been reinstalled, and engineers are currently rebuilding the bridge’s timber deck.
The bridge is due to reopen to cars, bicycles, and pedestrians this autumn – around a year later than planned originally – once handrails have been fitted and the deck has been surfaced.
Robbie Hunter, from campaign group Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, said: “It is so exciting to see the bridge restoration nearing completion.
“The [past] 18 months with the bridge closed has shown how much the communities on both sides of the river rely on it and thank goodness it has been saved for future generations.”
Councillor John Greenwell, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads development and maintenance, said: “After so many years of partnership work to bring this project to fruition, including sourcing all the necessary funding, it is wonderful to see the progress being made on the Union Chain Bridge to bring it back into use shortly.”
John Riddl, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for local services, added: “It’s fantastic to see this amazing project entering the final stages and really looking like a bridge again.
“It has been and remains a very technical and challenging scheme and everyone working on the bridge deserves credit for finding solutions to issues and never wavering in their enthusiasm to restore this magnificent structure back to its former glory.
“We’re really looking forward to the bridge re-opening in the near future.”
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Plus, watch a video of the work being carried out on the Union Chain Bridge: