Network Rail has risen to the challenge with repairing the iconic Royal Border Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Stretching over the River Tweed, repairing this Grade 1 listed, 170-year-old structure is a tall order, and has been a major multi-million-pound project. With over 2.5 million bricks stretching up to 40 metres high, the full extent of the repairs was hard to pinpoint from the ground.
Repairs to the iconic Royal Border Bridge have been extended into 2023 to make the centuries-old structure strong and reliable for future generations to enjoy. Upon close inspection, specialist engineers have decided to grasp the opportunity to carry out even more repairs, improving efficiency and helping the bridge look its best for years to come. This does mean that the renovations are now expected to last until spring 2023.
Work began at the start of this year to repair all 28 arches of the bridge, which sits across the River Tweed and transports freight goods and passengers between England and Scotland along the East Coast Main Line.
Innovatively, teams have used a rope access system to save time and millions of pounds, rather than building bulky and extensive scaffolding spanning the length and height of the bridge.
Periods of industrial action and delays in getting the listed building consent have also contributed to the project’s extension.
Ben Brooks, portfolio delivery director for Network Rail said: “We’re making great progress so far on the Royal Border Bridge repairs, but we’ve spotted the opportunity to go even further.
“We’ll be carrying out additional repairs to bring the famous bridge back to its former glory, and it’ll mean that we won’t need to complete any major maintenance work on it for the next 30 years.
“Unfortunately, this does mean that we’ll be working until spring 2023. We’re continuing to work with our partners to minimise any disturbance to the community and the footpath will remain open throughout.”