A stretch of Commercial Road in Hawick closed this week to allow for flood defence-related work to be carried out, and it will be shut for over two weeks.
The section of the route between North Bridge roundabout and Bruce Motors was closed on Wednesday, January 25, to allow the Hawick flood protection scheme team to confirm the suitability of the road structure for future flood defences along Commercial Road, part of the A7.
All businesses in the closed section are accessible for members of the public via a signed diversion route, with a loop road system using Princes Street and the High Street.
The project team has worked with Transport Scotland and Scottish Borders Council’s roads department to consider a number of options, including the use of traffic lights.
However, that could have potentially extended the works to 10 weeks, so it was rejected in favour of the three-week closure now under way.
The council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, also a member of the A7 Action Group, said: “The council realises this will be a major inconvenience to some people in the town and beyond, but these works are vital to taking the Hawick flood protection scheme forward.
“The project team needs to know the current condition of the road structure in order to take forward suitable flood defences for this part of Hawick, which has previously been badly hit by flooding from the nearby River Teviot.
“The project team, Scottish Borders Council’s roads department and Transport Scotland will monitor the closure throughout its duration to ensure the diversion route is working safely and effectively.”
The flood protection scheme is currently in the outline design phase.
It has already received the first tranche of funding from the Scottish Government, an initial £1.34m.
If approved, the Government will provide 80%, some £29.2m, of the overall cost, currently estimated at £36.4m.
Around 600 people were evacuated from their homes in Hawick in December 2015 as a result of flooding when the River Teviot burst its banks.
The aim is to have full flood protection measures in place by 2022.
More details on the scheme are available online at www.hawickfloodscheme.com or at www.facebook.com/ hawickfloodprotectionscheme
Transport Scotland is responsible for the section of the A7 road from Kingsknowes Roundabout to the English border.