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Historic bridge set for overhaul

union chain bridge

The historic Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland is set to close ‘intermittently’ for a ten-week overhaul from September 10.

Work on the acclaimed wrought iron suspension bridge - which celebrates its 200th birthday in 2020 - is part of a planned £7.3M refurbishment plan. This stage includes a masonry inspection, investigation of the existing paintwork, strain gauge monitoring and handrail works.

Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council are each contributing £1M towards the work and are jointly pushing for further cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Road traffic will be prevented from using the crossing during weekdays during the closure, though it will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The bridge, which spans the River Tweed near Paxton, was built by Capt Samuel Brown and is the oldest suspension bridge in the world still carrying vehicles.

Its design has been described as a ‘web of iron’ conjuring an image of a spider throwing its delicate, glimmering threads across a valley.

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