Borders Railway prepares for installation of longest new bridge

The Borders Railway project is preparing for one of its most significant construction milestones to date as the longest bridge to be built from scratch is installed at Hardengreen roundabout near Eskbank, just south of the Edinburgh Bypass. 

Hardengreen Viaduct Artist Impression

Work to the two-span bridge, which will span 71.5 metres,  will be carried out across two weekends in February; the 14th – 17th and 28th – 3rd March 2014. This will require the closure of Hardengreen roundabout, the A7 and local roads from 10pm each Friday to 6am each Monday for the specialist engineering task to be carried out. 

The installation will see a 1200 tonne crane used to hoist the bridge’s four beams into place, each weighing 107 tonnes; the equivalent to around 55 cars. A 30-strong construction team will work around the clock during the road closures to install the bridge beams and create the new bridge deck. 

Throughout the works over the two weekends, Hardengreen Roundabout will be closed and local diversions in place: 

  • Motorists coming to and from the Edinburgh City By-Pass, A720 are advised to use the A68 instead of the A7
  • HGVs travelling north and south should use the A68 rather than the A7
  • Midlothian motorists travelling north on the A7 should follow diversion signs for B704 along Cockpen Road
  • Motorists travelling towards Edinburgh from Newtongrange will be diverted along the B6482
  • Motorists using the B6392 (Dalhousie Rd) and B703 ( Newbattle Rd) are asked to follow the local diversion via A6094 (Eskbank Road) or B6392 (Melville Rd)
  • Only local access will be permitted on A7, South of Hardengreen -Roundabout to Dalhousie Mains cottages and local businesses. 

Parking restrictions will also be in place for the duration of the weekend closures to allow for the moving of materials on the A6094 across Bonnyrigg Road, Eskbank Road and Lothian Street and along the B704 across Dundas Street and Cockpen Road. 

The preparation works at Hardengreen Roundabout started in September 2013 saw the project’s main contractors, BAM, carry out extensive piling works and construction of bridge abutments 

Hugh Wark, project director, Network Rail, said: “The installation of this new bridge structure is a major construction milestone for the team. Not only will it transform the visual impact of the landscape and connect the railway from north to south but it is the longest bridge to be built from scratch along the new route.

“We have managed to keep the roundabout open while we construct the bridge supports, however the installation of the bridge deck is a major undertaking which will require two weekend closures.

“During the first weekend we’ll be craning in the concrete bridge deck. During the second weekend we’ll be completing the installation.

“We apologise for the inconvenience while we carry out these works but we are trying to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.”

As a result of the road closures around the perimeter of the works and in the interest of health and safety, members of the public will not be able to watch the works but are encouraged to keep up to date with progress via the project’s Twitter feed (@BordersRailway). 

The planned works are weather dependent. Please ensure you check the Borders Railway website and Twitter page for up to date details: / @BordersRailway