Network Rail has submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council which proposes an alternative bridge structure at Falahill, where the Borders Railway is required to pass under the A7.
The current approved design for this crossing would see a double roundabout built to the north of Falahill cottages, just south of Middleton, with a new section of A7 created to the south, through a section of rock to the east of the current A7 alignment.
The alternative design, which has just been submitted for planning consideration, would see the A7 continue to run close to its current alignment, with the railway passing underneath the road to the south of Falahill.
Hugh Wark, Network Rail Project Director explained: “The double roundabout design at Falahill presents numerous construction challenges. The alternative design would provide less disruption to users of the A7 during construction and eliminates the need for roundabouts and related roadside features.
“The design would mean a slight realignment of the railway and A7 to provide more room for residents living at Falahill cottages. We have advised residents about the proposed changes before submitting our revised designs.”
Work in the Falahill area is already progressing, with rock being excavated from a site south of the cottages. This work is necessary regardless of the final approved design. The rock is being used as infill for the new roads being constructed at Fountainhall and Heriot. The area will be landscaped once work is completed.