10 April 2017


A scheme, valued at around £185,000, to repair a storm damaged cutwater and parapets on the A7 at Skippers Bridge, Langholm has overcome the odds to be completed ahead of schedule

The work, which was originally scheduled to complete on Sunday 12th March 2017, was fully completed a week earlier on Sunday 5th March.

The repair scheme presented a number of challenges – including the difficulty of accessing the location itself, achieved by using various methods of specialist access scaffolding, successful implementation of measures to avoid disturbance of existing bat colonies, avoiding the fish spawning season and severe weather conditions.

Due to the Structure’s Category A listing, various analyses and testing were carried out in order to enable the source of the closest match of stone and mortar to preserve the visual appearance of the structure. Furthermore, annual hydrographs documenting the behaviour of River Esk since 2006 were analysed for determining how the works could be carried out safely at various stages. Rivers Esk, White Esk and Ewes Water were also being constantly monitored throughout the course of the works.

Alistair Paterson, Unit Bridge Manager at Transport Scotland, said: “The repairs on A7 Skippers Bridge have been carried-out in difficult conditions and Amey has worked hard to overcome these challenges to finish this complex project ahead of schedule.

“We hope the community in Langholm are pleased with the end product which will allow road users and businesses to continue using the crossing for years to come.”

Stuart Wallace, Bridges Manager at Amey, the company responsible for maintaining the South East Trunk Roads network on behalf of Transport Scotland, said: “I am pleased to say that we were able to overcome the significant and varied challenges posed by this repair thanks to high levels of preparation in advance of the main works . In particular a great deal of planning and effort was directed to the design and implementation of specialist and bespoke access leading from the East riverbank to the damaged cutwater so that the main work could be completed smoothly and with minimal disruption to traffic once we could access the damaged cutwater. The maintenance scheme also benefited from a spells of good weather while this work was being undertaken.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the local community and businesses who have been very understanding and supportive of these works. When the work was completed, several members of the public approached our team to congratulate them on the quality of the repair.”

This scheme also benefitted from close consultation and support from a number of stakeholders including Transport Scotland, the emergency services, Traffic Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Planning Authority; Historic Environment Scotland; SEPA; Scottish Natural Heritage; Galloway Fisheries Trust; Environment Agency;  local land owners; road hauliers, local bus operating companies and businesses.

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