DIVERSIONS and delays around Abbotsford and Lowood are set to continue for a further month after engineers discovered additional problems with a bridge near Galashiels.

And the one-way system over the A6091 Galafoot Bridge will return early next year for a further month or two.

Inspections earlier this year identified major repair and refurbishment works were required.

Engineers arrived at Galafoot on August 5 to begin the scheduled 10 weeks of work.

But by early September it emerged the scale of deterioration in both the concrete sections and steel reinforcements beneath the surface was much greater than initially anticipated.

Amey announced that full night-time closures would be required to finish the deck repairs, waterproofing and resurfacing by the scheduled October 14.

But with just over a week until the planned completion date they have extended the timescales through to November.

And bosses have also announced that engineers will return to complete the extensive repairs in February.

Amey's bridges manager Stuart Wallace said: “These refurbishment works were originally intended to prevent the further deterioration of the bridge structure by repairing defects at an early stage.

"This work has subsequently uncovered several previously hidden defects that far exceeded expectations and this is the reason for the increase to the construction programme.”

Since the introduction of a one-way system for west-bound traffic across the bridge with east-bound vehicles having to use the winding B6360 near Abbotsford, there have been many reports of drivers ignoring temporary road signs.

And many other drivers are using Melrose Road and Lowood Bridge, which causes tailbacks at rush hour.

Rather than continue with repairs to Galafoot over the festive period and into the new year, Amey has opted to finish on November 9 and return three months later.

Mr Wallace added: “The local community has shown incredible patience and understanding with the repair programme to date.

"Having listened to their concerns, we consider it prudent to avoid further disruption over the busy holiday season.

"This strategy will also mitigate against the possible impact that winter weather might have on this work”

“Once again, we want to thank road users, businesses and residents for their goodwill, and we will continue to consult with local stakeholders and provide updates on this scheme .”

Exact dates for the 2019 works will be announced in the coming weeks.