Praise for quality of work on Skippers bridge
A SCHEME, valued at about £185,000, to repair the storm damaged cutwater and parapets on Skippers Bridge in Langholm overcame the odds to be completed ahead of schedule.
The work 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.
It was because of the structure’s Category A listing that various analyses and testing were done to enable the source of the closest match of stone and mortar to preserve the bridge's visual appearance.
Annual hydrographs documenting the behaviour of the River Esk since 2006 were analysed to determine how the works could be done safely at various stages.
Alistair Paterson, unit bridge manager at Transport Scotland, said: “The repairs on the bridge done in difficult conditions and Amey worked hard to overcome these challenges to finish this complex project ahead of schedule.
“We hope the community is pleased with the end product which will allow road users and businesses to continue using the crossing for years to come.”
Stuart Wallace, Amey bridges manager, which maintains the road, said: “I'm pleased 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 eastern riverbank to the damaged cutwater so 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 spells of good weather while this work was being done.
“We would like to thank the community and businesses which were very understanding and supportive. 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 benefited from consultation with and support from stakeholders, including Transport Scotland, the emergency services, Traffic Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway planning authority, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Galloway Fisheries Trust, Environment Agency, land owners, road hauliers, bus companies and businesses.