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River bridge rescue mission agreed

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
River bridge rescue mission agreed

ANNAN’S washed away bridges will finally be removed from the river at the end of the month.

Work will start on Monday May 30 to retrieve the remains of the Cuthbertson Bridge.

And if that goes to plan, the parts of the Jubilee Bridge will then be taken out of the water the week after, from Monday June 6.

Both of the historic structures were swept away in floods last October and have been washed further downstream.

Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall this week revealed the aim is to “remove as much of the structures as possible”.

He said: “For obvious reasons it has taken a lot of work and various meetings and discussions undergone with landowners but agreements have now been reached with regards to access to the sites and making the area safe.

“With the majority of the work taking place on the west side of the banking, this means there will little or no traffic through Annan town centre during the work.”

He is waiting to hear what access and safety restrictions will be in place but urged townsfolk who want to watch the retrieval operation to do so “from afar and a safe distance away”.

Both bridges will be stored at Annan Cemetery for the immediate future.

Cllr Marshall added: “I am pleased that arrangements are now in place for the safe removal of the iconic bridges and I look forward to working with the council and the ‘Annan – A Tale of Two Bridges Steering Group’ to begin the next phase of the project – which will be to commission and undertake an options appraisal, which I successfully got the council to fund in the 2022/23 budget, to identify the best

solution for replacing the bridges going forward.”

Asked about the likelihood of a temporary crossing, he said: “My objective will be to explore and encourage feasible temporary arrangements to be explored, such as at the A75 road bridge, for crossing the river safely if possible during the long process of finding a permanent solution.”

Meanwhile, the bridges steering group will hold their next meeting in The Anglers on Wednesday night. All welcome.

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