Bridge completion date extended
Despite the excellent progress being made at Union Chain Bridge, current forecasts for the bridge reopening have now been extended into the summer of 2022.
Due to the complex nature of the structure and the delicate work required to ensure the bridge is refurbished and restored to its former glory, while maintaining as much of the fabric of the original structure, the works are taking longer than expected.
Due to the construction configuration of the main suspension chains, the exact condition of the individual chain components was largely unknown meaning the initial refurbishment scope and quantities had to be estimated. Once the structure had been fully dismantled the true scale of these repairs and refurbishments were realised.
Significant corrosion had accumulated around the chain eyelets, significantly reducing their overall capacity.
Through extensive inspections and assessments of every component, engineers attempted to minimise the number of replacement parts required. However, despite these best efforts, a large number of replacement components were required.
The significant number of replacement components, combined with some production difficulties and the challenging nature of carefully and methodically reassembling the chains across the River Tweed is resulting in a longer than anticipated installation time for the main suspension chains.
It is now anticipated that the main suspension chains will be fully re-installed across the river by the end of May, enabling work to commence on the installation of the hangers and reconstruction of the bridge deck and hand rails.
The Project Team are continually striving for project efficiencies and working together to mitigate any further delays and will provide further updates on the works as the scheme progresses towards completion, which will ensure this iconic structure will be an asset to the local community for many years to come.