A PEEBLESSHIRE road will close this week to carry out “essential works” on a bridge damaged during heavy downpours.

Vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes have been banned from crossing Westwater Bridge, located half a mile south of West Linton.

Scour damage was identified after safety checks were carried out earlier this month.

And now BEAR Scotland has announced that the A702 south of West Linton will close in both directions between 10am-4pm on Friday (January 20).

A spokesperson said it would allow concrete to be poured to reinforce the foundations of the bridge.

Chris Tracey, BEAR Scotland’s south east unit bridges manager, said: “Since scour damage was first identified earlier this month, the team has completed works to divert the path of the river away from the affected area and is installing rock armour to protect the bridge from further damage. We’ve surveyed and de-watered the site, and are now ready to pour concrete to stabilise and reinforce the foundations.

“A full road closure is essential, as the full width of the road will be required to accommodate the necessary plant and vehicles on site, with concrete being poured from road level down to the foundations of the bridge 10 metres below. This work needs to take place during daylight hours for safety.

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“The work we’re doing now will repair and strengthen the bridge’s foundations so that we can remove the traffic restrictions that are currently in place. Further works will be carried out in future to make the structure more resilient.

“We’re grateful to road users and local residents for their patience and understanding while we carry out these essential works.”

A diversion route for southbound traffic will be signposted between Hillend and Melbourne Crossroads, via the A703, A701, A72 and A721.

Northbound traffic will be diverted via the A721 from Melbourne Crossroads, continuing via the A72 and A701 to Straiton Junction on the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass.

These diversion routes will add an estimated three miles and seven minutes to affected journeys, according to BEAR Scotland.

Traffic using the bridge is currently restricted to a single lane controlled by temporary traffic lights.

These restrictions are expected to be removed by Friday, January 27.