FLOOD prevention works costing £70,000 began this week.
And a similar amount is being spent on the preparation of a major flood protection scheme for the town.
Part 1 of the Hawick Minor Works programme includes raising kerbs at the rear of the pavements in Mansfield Road, Glebe Mill Street and Duke Street by 250mm, raising the river bank and filling in lower points where water can run over into the neighbouring streets, plus associated footway reprofiling along Mansfield Road.
Councillor Ron Smith, Hawick’s representative on Scottish Borders Council’s Flood Advisory Group, said: “We welcome the start of flood protection works, and we have waited long enough for it.
“There have already been some measures put in place, including at Haggis Ha’, the golf club, and Rinkvale Cottages, but this is the start of works at the River Teviot that should give people a wee bit more security.”
Other aspects being looked at is the fitting of flaps to the holes in the walls on Teviot Road, Mill Port and Commercial Road.
Councillor Smith added: “These holes are currently meant to allow rainwater to drain from the road surface back into the river but at times of flood have the opposite effect.”
A stop log arrangement is also proposed for the footbridge at Noble Place and these will be put in place whenever the river is high.
The work is expected to take five weeks and, weather permitting, should be completed by February 12, while plans are put in place to address other areas of concern.
David Green, SBC’s flood protection programme manager said: “The Hawick Minor Works programme is designed to alleviate flooding at very low return periods and is being undertaken as an interim measure in advance of implementation of the major flood protection scheme as major schemes take a number of years to prepare.”
Councillor Stuart Marshall, who is chairman of the town’s flood group, said: “The flood group is delighted that this scheme has finally started and nearby residents will I’m sure feel the same.
“But we must not take our foot off the pedal. Much more work still needs to be done to give our town total protection.”