Work on way to stop future landslides on A7 near Hawick

Hawick and Denholm councillor Davie Paterson at the Dunk corner near Hawick.
Hawick and Denholm councillor Davie Paterson at the Dunk corner near Hawick.
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Two options have been drawn up for works to prevent the repeat of a landslide on a trunk road south of Hawick three years ago.

It was back on Christmas Eve 2013 that the landslide brought muddy debris from a tree-lined embankment beside the A7, known locally as the Dunk corner, onto the road, leading to its closure.

Concerns have also been raised for years over surface water coming off the hill, creating potential for accidents there.

Now investigations have been carried, leading to proposals to replace drainage and build structures to withstand the flow of materials onto the A7.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson is eager for a resolution to the problem and has been working with representatives of Amey, the body responsible for maintenance of trunk roads, to try to prevent it becoming an accident black-spot.

Garry Head, a highways area manager with Amey, said: “The geotechnical investigation to determine the depth of the rockhead and existing ground capacity required for a structure design has been completed and the results analysed.

“The result indicates that the two main options are available designed to withstand the flow of any material from the embankment onto the A7 at this location.

“These options are either the replacement of the existing toe of the embankment wall with a retaining structure, including replacement drainage, or a similar option with specialised fencing, again including replacement drainage.

“These options are designed to prevent the flow of any material onto the trunk road rather than engineer a solution to stop the embankment failure as such would be the responsibility of the landowner.

“Given that the options are yet to be finalised, including outline costs, it is not possible to provide a timescale for the construction element of this scheme.”

Mr Paterson said: “What is causing a lot of concern, and I have taken this up with Amey, is the water which comes off the hill and onto the road, making it extremely dangerous, especially in freezing conditions.

“The area is not an accident blackspot, but it has the potential to become one, and we are working hard to try and resolve this situation.”