Ask us a question

If you have a question about any of our projects, or you would like to get in touch about a project you are looking to undertake, please get in touch.

    Rope-access enables defect inspection of historic Union Chain Bridge

    The Union Chain Bridge is 450 ft of engineering brilliance: the 200-year-old, wrought-iron, chain-suspension structure spans the River Tweed and links Berwickshire in Scotland to Northumberland in England. When it opened in 1820, it held the title of the longest wrought-iron suspension bridge in the world with its impressive span of 137 m. It is now listed as a Category A building in Scotland and a Grade 1 building in England. It was also the first suspension bridge in Europe to carry wheeled traffic. When a landslide necessitated its closure in 2008 and the local council did not have the funds to repair it, the local community began a campaign to restore the structure to its original splendour and ensure its longevity.

    Northumberland County Council hired engineering specialist CAN, an RSK company, to inspect the structure for defects. The report would inform the council’s request for National Lottery funding for the refurbishment. The bridge is a single-span structure positioned high above the river, so CAN sent a team of four rope-access specialists who were able to access the challenging location. Over three weeks, the engineers noted hundreds of defects and wrote a detailed report outlining a repair schedule, thereby ensuring that the council had the information to inform the renovation work.

    The information provided by CAN’s specialist engineers enabled the project to obtain financial contributions from the Scottish Borders Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Northumberland City Council. With sufficient funding, work began in October 2020. The route will remain closed for 18 months.

    It is hoped that the renovation and reopening of the historic structure will strengthen the connections between communities in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland. With the future of the local landmark secured, it will remain in use and be preserved for future generations.

    • Location: England
    • Client: Northumberland County Council
    Supporting the regeneration of a paper mill, UK
    View Project
    Resolving land contamination issues for a site in West Lothian, UK
    View Project
    Removing asbestos safely and quickly for Hounslow Borough Council, UK
    View Project
    Preserving a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, UK
    View Project
    Helping to provide safe, reliable homes in the UK
    View Project
    Geoenvironmental and geotechnical constraints at UK parkland development
    View Project
    Assessment and delineation of a chlorinated solvent plume in Falkirk, UK
    View Project
    Assessing the risk for contamination in West Dunbartonshire, UK
    View Project