Hawick road to reopen ahead of schedule

Hawick's Commercial Road is to reopen tomorrow.
Hawick's Commercial Road is to reopen tomorrow.

A section of road closed for preliminary works ahead of construction of flood defences in Hawick is to reopen tomorrow, February 11, four days ahead of schedule.

The stretch of Commercial Road between Bruce Motors and the North Bridge roundabout has been shut since Wednesday, January 25, to allow the flood protection scheme team to confirm the suitability of the road’s structure for future flood defences.

Katie Kampion and Murray Cockburn with Holequest's Fraser Murray, centre, at Commercial Road in Hawick.

Katie Kampion and Murray Cockburn with Holequest's Fraser Murray, centre, at Commercial Road in Hawick.

It was scheduled to be closed for three weeks, but the work being carried out by Galashiels-based contractor Holequest is said to be progressing well enough for the road, part of the A7, to reopen early, at noon tomorrow.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, said: “The council is pleased to reopen the road earlier than anticipated and thanks the local businesses and people of Hawick for their patience during the closure.

“While the closure of Commercial Road did cause disruption, the work carried out has provided vital information on the road structure and what lies below it, which will be invaluable for taking forward the Hawick flood protection Scheme.”

Businesses in Commercial Road will welcome its early reopening as several have reported reductions in their takings since the road was closed including Shorts of Hawick’s knitwear factory shop and the Quality Used Furniture Warehouse.

During the closure, two pupils from Hawick High School are due to start engineering degrees at university later this year were given a short tour of the Commercial Road site.

Holequest staff including Fraser Murray explained to pupils Katie Kampion and Murray Cockburn how the survey of the structure of the road was carried out.

Mr Edgar added: “I am pleased a local company was used to carry out this essential work and that they were able to host local school pupils, who will have gained a valuable insight ahead of their future careers.”

The £36.4m flood protection scheme is currently in its outline design phase.

It has already received its first tranche of the £29.2m funding the Scottish Government will be providing, a payout of £1.34m.

More details of the scheme are available at www.hawickfloodscheme.com or www.facebook.com/hawickfloodprotectionscheme