Project Update - January 2014
The winter weather to date has been kind to the Borders Railway project team and we were back up and running quickly following the Christmas and New Year break.
Moving into February and March, the visibility of work will be at its highest to date as work on key structures continues alongside some of the largest towns and busiest roads on the line of route. After this, moving from spring into summer, the long stretches of track between the stations, bridges and tunnels will see increased construction activity, including the laying of ballast and then track laying itself.
With the A6106 required to close between Millerhill and Sherrifhall roundabout for six months in early March, the project team has been creating an alternative access via Sherrifhall park and ride. Keep checking the website for updates.
Work on the new rail bridge which crosses Hardengreen roundabout enters its most important stage this month. This is the longest new bridge being built as part of the project and a major milestone. During two weekends (February 14–17 and February 28–March 3) the bridge beams will arrive and be lifted into place. To allow this significant engineering feat to be completed, the A7 will be closed with diversions in place. Further details of the closure times and diversions can be found here.
The Edinburgh Bypass
In April, the team will also transfer the city bypass from its temporary alignment back to the original alignment over the newly constructed railway tunnel. The temporary carriageway will then be removed to make way for the railway. More information will follow in future project updates.
The construction of the new road bridge crossing the railway at the village of Heriot in Midlothian, joining the B709 to the A7, continues. The major reconfiguration of utility services such as electricity and water in the area is also progressing. The connection of the new road to the A7 will require the A7 to be widened and realigned. Traffic management will be put in place and phased changes will take place from late February to late May, when the new road is expected to be opened.
Safety is our utmost concern and with road work intensifying in this area, we welcome the 40mph speed limit between the north of Falahill and south of Heriot. We understand the inconvenience this may cause and would ask A7 users to plan their journeys accordingly.
With the revised design for Falahill now approved, the construction schedule is now being developed and will be publicised on our website. Rock blasting at the site will come to an end in March; the excavation site has already begun to be landscaped. To deliver the new bridge at this location, a temporary road to the east of the current A7 alignment is required. This will reduce the need for traffic management during construction.
The south section’s main focus for the beginning of 2014 will be in and around Galashiels.
The team has made significant progress in excavation work at Winston Road. A complex network of utilities had to be rerouted and installed, and the team have begun ground works in preparation for the construction of Winston Road bridge. The embankments of the cutting will also be strengthened and a new footbridge constructed which crosses the railway next to the Borders College.
Elsewhere, a new bridge will be constructed to take the railway over Wheatlands Road. Traffic management will be in place until October whilst this takes place. Another bridge will be built over the Gala Water to the south of Wheatlands Road using the original supports.
Work at Plumtreehall Brae continues. These works involve the demolition of the existing bridge and installation of a new footbridge by October this year. Vehicle access will be via the A7 at Magdala Terrace and pedestrian access will be via the footbridge at High Buckholmside. In addition, a footpath will be constructed between Plumtreehall Brae and B&Q as well as a retaining wall between the gardens of Magdala Terrace and the railway.
A new bridge is also under construction to take trains over Currie Road. Local traffic management will be in place at varying times until October.
We expect that due to the close proximity of the work to residential areas in this section of the railway, there will be some disruption. The Borders Railway team appreciates the potential inconvenience caused and we will work hard to minimise disruption to the community as far as practically possible.
Updates on the latest developments will be posted through the @BordersRailway twitter account. If you need to get in touch with the team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0845 604 4146.