Work to deliver one of the most challenging sections of the Borders Railway at Falahill will get under way next week as the project continues its focus on the development of key railway structures.
The design, approved by Scottish Borders Council in November, moves the A7 slightly to the west of its current alignment, giving more room between the road and the Falahill cottages.
It also sees a new bridge built to the south of the properties, carrying the road over the railway. The bridge is the third and final A7 crossing to start work and will take the Borders Railway one step closer to bringing train services back to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders for the first time in over 40 years.
In order to build the new road bridge, a temporary two lane diversion is currently being built to the east of the A7. Using two lanes will reduce the impact of traffic flow at this location. Traffic lights will be required during later phases of the work.
Hugh Wark, Network Rail Project Director said: “We’re pleased to finally be progressing with the construction work at Falahill. There’s been a huge amount of work behind the scenes to get the design right and we believe that we now have the best solution for the location.
“Our delivery strategy for the A7 bridge over the railway in this location mirrors our approach to delivering the City Bypass bridge, only on a smaller scale. The temporary two lane stretch of road will mean that road traffic can flow freely while we deliver this crucial element of the project.”
The work will be delivered by SBC Contracts, on behalf of main contractors BAM, after a competitive tender process.
The Falahill rock removal and recycling work is entering the final phase and the infill and landscaping is now underway.
Work to widen the A7 adjacent to new access roads in Heriot and Fountainhall is continuing, with traffic management required until summer 2014.