Spencer to restore world’s oldest working suspension bridge

Aaron Morby 1 year ago
Share

Spencer Group will begin work next month to refurbish and rebuild one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges.

 Historic crossing over the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire
Historic crossing over the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire

The 200-year-old Union Chain Bridge links England and Scotland and was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1820.

It is credited with being a catalyst for bridge innovation, influencing the design of other famous structures such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Spencer Group will dismantle much of the 137m span bridge and carry out a complete refurbishment and rebuild to mark its bicentenary.

A key element of the project will be to ensure all modifications are in keeping with the historical significance of the Grade I listed bridge.

This will include restoring, rather than replacing, the existing suspension chains and using the same type of stone to repair masonry work on the bridge’s two towers.

Spencer Group managing director Gary Thornton said: “We’re delighted and honoured to have been selected to carry out such an important project.

“We will be bringing many years of accumulated knowledge and expertise to this project, from working on iconic bridges across the UK and Europe.”

The project is expected to take 16 months to complete, with the bridge inaccessible for around a year.

Project works


  • Removing the entire timber bridge deck and laying a new deck, using timber sustainably sourced from managed woodland.
  • Restoring the chains to their original strength, with links repaired instead of replaced wherever possible. Every link and chain that can be repaired will go back in its original place.
  • Refurbishing the towers using sandstone from the same nearby quarry as used originally to match the colour and geological characteristics, along with the same type of mortar.

Latest news

Government plan to ban poorly performing firms advances

Firms with a track record of poor delivery, fraud or corruption will be blocked from winning public contracts
5 hours ago

Construction output shows fastest rise in four months

Commercial sector leads the way as buyers report strong industry rebound in November
8 hours ago

Energy prices to drive second wave of materials cost hikes

Arcadis predicts further brick, glass, cement and concrete price hikes in 2022
12 hours ago

Go-ahead for £180m Milton Keynes tower scheme

Work set to start next year on central Milton Keynes landmark scheme
12 hours ago

Fit-out firm BW forecasts return to growth next year

South east contractor predicts workload recovery next year
10 hours ago

Builder jailed after demolishing wall on colleague

Court imposes prison sentence for gross negligence manslaughter
12 hours ago

Union officials face new probe into blacklist collusion

Unite gathering evidence for QC-led inquiry
11 hours ago

University to offer courses in concrete road repairs

New generation needed as 60% of concrete specialists set to retire in next ten years
11 hours ago

HS2 launches first Midlands TBM

BBV launches Dorothy on first one-mile long bore in Warwickshire
4 days ago

Construction slavery gang busted – five convicted

Romanian victims were promised £50 a day to work on site but were saddled with false debts
4 days ago

New chief named for O’Connor Utilities group

Michael Hughes was formely chief financial officer at Issa brothers owned EG Group
3 days ago

Multiplex aims for woman-led teams at one in 10 projects

Social equity manifesto to tackle lack of female leadership, excessive hours and slow payments
3 days ago

Trio shortlisted for third £115m A9 dualling project

Balfour, Graham and Wills Bros in chase for 9.6km Tomatin to Moy dualling
4 days ago

Plan for £2bn Edinburgh West Town

7,000 homes plan for 200-acre site in West Edinburgh
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall starts £31m Leeds resi scheme

Work starts on 16-storey stepped Springwell Gardens apartment block
4 days ago

Race starts for £200m M5 Junction 10 Improvements

Cheltenham junction upgrade will see new roundabout built above the motorway
4 days ago

New boss at Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick

Will Smith joins from consultant Cummins
4 days ago

Contractors battle Storm Arwen to replace rail bridge

BAM Nuttall, Atkins WSP Joint Venture successfully completes marathon 78-hour installation
4 days ago

Bids called for £835m South London council estate upgrade

London Borough of Southwark is on the hunt for four firms to deliver housing estate upgrades
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon to build £21m net zero Preston school

Tarleton Academy will be net zero in operation
4 days ago

Veteran pair leave Currie & Brown

End of an era as David Broomer and Euan McEwan retire
4 days ago

Balfour Beatty launches neurodiverse site cabins

Cabins adapted for visually impaired and light-sensitive builders will become standard on Balfour sites
5 days ago

26 firms win £7bn schools framework – full list

B&K, Willmott Dixon, BAM, Kier and Wates chalk up both northern and southern major project lots
6 days ago

French specialist Matière to install HS2 cut and cover tunnels

Stanton Precast wins pre-cast segment deal for 'green tunnels'
6 days ago

Scottish house builder buys rival for £56m

Springfield buys Tulloch Homes to expand presence in the Highlands
5 days ago

Wates wins contract for underground houses

Construction to start next year on earth sheltered homes in Battle, East Sussex
6 days ago

VAT dodging electrician banned for five years

Company director barred after Insolvency Service probe
6 days ago

£11m in extra brownfield grants awarded – list

Twenty-three sites receive brownfield funding in second tranche of grants
6 days ago

GMI lands £30m helicopter logistic hub

Building work starts on Yeovil hub for manufacturer Leonardo
6 days ago

HS2 Euston team to get architect-designed site huts

Up to 2,500 workers and 150 students could be using the welfare facility on a daily basis
6 days ago

Contractor services