Border bridge reopens year after landslip

A road close to the Union Chain Bridge near Berwick has finally reopened a year after it was closed due to a landslip

The Chain Bridge near Berwick Upon Tweed

A Northumberland road which was closed following a landslip has reopened after a year.

The road close to the border-spanning Union Chain Bridge, near Berwick, and the Chain Bridge Honey Farm was blocked following the landslide last July.

Now, the road has reopened 12 months on after repairs were carried out.

The landslip happened on the C3 road, around 100m south of the honey farm, near Horncliffe.

A 25m section of embankment by the River Tweed subsided and part of the road slid down following heavy rain.

The landslip damaged a water main in the area with a temporary overland pipe erected to maintain the supply.

The road has since been closed to traffic.

Eight households north of the landslip were having to take a detour into Scotland to reach Berwick or travel south.

To get to Horncliffe, where some of the residents go for community activities, one-and-a-half miles away, they were instead having to go via the bridge into Scotland, via Paxton and the A1, a journey of 11 miles.

A weight and width restriction on the bridge also meant that oil and gas delivery and refuse collections vehicles could not reach the residents.

The blockage also affected people wanting to visit the bridge, a popular tourist attraction, and a local bed and breakfast.

Honey farm boss Willie Robson offered some of his land to Northumberland County Council for the construction of a temporary road.

Dudley-based civil engineering firm Owen Pugh was appointed to carry out repairs to the landslip. The 35-day project involved the excavation of 3,000 cubic metres of material from the bank side.

A total of 5,000 tons of stone was imported to reconstruct the embankment.

The council laid the Tarmac for the new road.

Martin Forster, general manager of Owen Pugh’s contracts division, said: “It was a lot of hard work and we’ve excavated so much material to dispose of from the bank side.

“All credit to the hard working team who were involved.”

Kris Westerby, construction manager at the council, said: “This road is a vital access route for residents and business and we’re thankful of the effort and hard work Owen Pugh has put in.”

Last night, Mr Robson said sales at the honey farm’s cafe had not been effected, thanks to the temporary road.

“The county council have been very good about it.

“There have been no problems. They have done very well and they have made a superb job of it.

“You could not fault them.”

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