The Union Chain Bridge or rather the Union Bridge, which is a suspension bridge that spans the River Tweed four miles upstream of Berwick, straddling the border between England and Scotland, is being refurbished, stripped out, and fixed together afresh after approximately 201 years of existence.
Spencer Group, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned multi-disciplinary engineering businesses is carrying out the project after being appointed by Northumberland County Council, a unitary authority in North East England. The former will put down the bridge and carry out a full US$ 14.3M refurbishment as well as reconstruction.
Work done so far
Restoration of the Captain Samuel Brown-built bridge started in October 2020. After a long operation of dismantling, inspection, and restoration, work is now ongoing on the main suspension chain re-erection, which is a slow process. Entirely, there are 2,000 meters of steel and the first chain was removed over a three-day period to re-join both countries at the point. The erection of the remaining 11 chains will be done in weeks to come before work commences on re-installing the deck hangers as well as the bridge deck.
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Spencer’s team was last autumn inspecting, repairing as well as refurbishing all the constituents that made up the bridge. It is anticipated that the work on reconstruction and restoration of the Union Chain Bridge will progress for several months, with the bridge set to fully reopen in late spring 2022.
Remarks of the council cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County on the project
Speaking on the project, the council cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County, John Riddle said that this is yet another achievement and a very welcomed one.
“We’ve toiled to retain as many of the original components of the bridge as possible and to make sure that the bridge is able to fulfill its main purpose. Everyone involved with the scheme is thrilled to see the bridge taking shape once again,” concluded Mr. Riddle.