Initial repairs to Berw Road Bridge in Pontypridd will start on Monday following the appointment of a contractor – which could enable the bridge to temporarily reopen this summer ahead of a full repair programme next year.
The Council has appointed Kaymac Marine and Civil Engineering Ltd to carry out scour repairs, along with repairs to the pier and embankment, which will take place within the river. Work will start from Monday, June 7, scheduled for completion by the end of July. The first week of work will include mobilising the plant and delivery of materials, using an access track off Berw Road.
There may be some disruption to road users when the site accepts deliveries, which will be scheduled outside of peak travel times in order to minimise disruption. The contractor will write to local residents shortly, outlining the nature and full schedule of the work. The verge adjacent to bridge, used by residents for car parking, will be cordoned off to facilitate contractor access.
Once the work is complete, there will be a detailed inspection of the bridge to establish whether it can reopen to traffic on a temporary basis with loading restrictions – until further major repairs which could take place next year.
White Bridge suffered severe damage during Storm Dennis in February 2020, and has remained closed to the public to ensure safety. The Listed structure has been monitored by consultants Redstart, and the Council has worked with Cadw to gain the relevant consent for repair works. The scheme is further complicated by the presence of a gas main through a pipe on the bridge.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “I’d like to thank residents for their continued cooperation while White Bridge has remained closed to ensure safety, while a complex repair process has progressed behind the scenes. It has involved consultation with a number of key stakeholders and is further complicated with work taking place in the river and the presence of a major gas supply which utilises the bridge.
“The Council understands that the Listed structure is not only historically and culturally important, but also a vital part of the road network – particularly in the peak morning and evening travel periods. I’m sure today’s announcement, that initial repair work will start on Monday, will be welcomed locally – and it shows the Council delivering upon its commitment to repair the structure.
“It also highlights the Council’s continued efforts to design, secure funding for and carry out infrastructure repairs following Storm Dennis in February 2020. We made it clear that the damage was so widespread that the repair process would take place over several years. Work shortly starting on site at White Bridge is a major landmark in one of our key repair schemes, while work on another, at Blaen-y-Cwm Road river wall, is also currently ongoing on site.
“The initial repairs to White Bridge will be followed by a thorough inspection to determine whether the road can reopen on a temporary basis from this summer. The Council has previously stated that a full repair scheme would then follow in 2022 requiring a final closure of the bridge, subject to gaining various consents, and we are still working towards this timeline.”