Edinburgh's North Bridge: Traffic and pedestrians shift to other side as work goes on

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Traffic and pedestrians on Edinburgh's North Bridge will be switched from the east side to the west side next week as the massive refurbishment project moves to the next stage.

The shift of work to the east carriageway and pavement will mean the overnight closure of the bridge to traffic, from 8pm to 6am, on Monday February 19 and Tuesday February 20. But it will remain open to pedestrians at all times.

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Work on the bridge which links the Capital's Old and New towns began in 2018 after "multiple structural and safety defects" were identified. But since then, more issues have been discovered with the historic crossing, as sections not inspected since its construction 130 years ago were found to be in need of major repairs.

The latest change in traffic management will allow finishing works to the east footpath, including new bus stops and real-time passenger information posts. It will also create an area for a crane to be set up for the cast façade to be reinstalled on the side of the bridge.

Traffic and pedestrians on North Bridge will use the east carriageway and pavement from next week.Traffic and pedestrians on North Bridge will use the east carriageway and pavement from next week.
Traffic and pedestrians on North Bridge will use the east carriageway and pavement from next week.

Two-way traffic will switch to the east side of the bridge, with the pedestrian crossing outside the Scotsman Hotel still in place and barriers continuing to provide separation between the footway and the roadway.

The nigh-shift operations to make the transition will include relocating all the site boundary fencing, which is on top of 2.5 tonne concrete blocks. The council has said any noise-generating activities will be undertaken in the earliest part of the night-time working.

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Transport and environment convener Scott Arthur said: “This change in traffic management on North Bridge is something of a milestone for the project, as it marks the completion of much of the work on the top deck of the bridge. It will allow the finishing touches to be put to the east side of the road and pavement, and soon will provide space for the installation of the bridge’s iconic cast iron façade.

“Some of the most recent ‘behind-the-scenes’ pictures I’ve seen of the project show just how complex an effort it has been, and as we approach completion next year I’m confident in the longevity of the improvements that have been made. I’d also like to thank all those who live, work and trade nearby for their patience throughout this major, once-in-a-lifetime scheme.

"Like me, I am sure they will be looking forward to these works being fully completed. In the interim, I can't wait to enjoy the view of Edinburgh Castle again from the west side of the bridge."

The refurbishment, which could cost around £86 million, is due to be completed in 2025.

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