My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Historic Iron Tram Bridge set to be reinstalled following its restoration

Credit: RCT Council

The sympathetically restored elements of the Iron Tram Bridge in Trecynon are now being delivered to the works site for their installation. The Scheduled Ancient Monument, built in the early 1800s, is on course to reopen in October.

The main scheme started this summer after the Council, working closely with Cadw, gained consent to undertake a complex restoration and reinstatement scheme for the historic structure – which was damaged in several storm events including Storm Dennis. Planning permission was then granted in June 2023.

The original bridge was constructed in the early 1800s, manufactured by the Abernant Foundry to carry the tramroad to Trecynon. It now carries a Public Right of Way over the River Cynon near the A4059 Meirion Street roundabout.

Following examination of the bridge damage by specialist contractors away from the works site, the scheme will sympathetically reinstate the bridge and preserve its character in a hybrid structure. Almost all of the original structural elements will be reinstated and displayed as was originally intended – while modern components will be used to guarantee longevity and preservation.

Progress update – delivery and installation of bridge elements

Contractor Walters Ltd has begun to receive the large bridge components at the works site, to be installed over the river. This process began in the week commencing Monday, September 11, and will continue in the days ahead. The section of Cynon Trail adjacent to the site will remain open – pedestrians will be temporarily held during the crane lift operations, to ensure safety.

The bridge’s main arch girders (original cast iron beams) are being installed this week, with elements of the steel-supporting structure anticipated to arrive on site early next week – the week commencing Monday, September 18.

The Council can confirm that the Iron Tram Bridge is on course to reopen to pedestrians during mid-October. A further update will be issued in due course to outline these arrangements. Cadw is also planning to organise an on-site commemoration to mark this important restoration of a Scheduled Ancient Monument – likely to take place in the weeks following the bridge’s reopening.

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “The process of reinstating the Iron Tram Bridge following severe storm damage has been a necessarily lengthy process, and it’s excellent news to report that the works are now entering their final stages. The structure is of historical and cultural significance having been built more than 200 years ago, and it was therefore very important we took the time, working with Cadw, to get the scheme right.

“The contractor’s site team is now in the process of receiving deliveries of the large bridge components, for their installation in place over the river. Many of the original beams have begun to arrive this week – before the supporting steel components are delivered next week. This is when residents will really begin to see the structure take shape, to resemble the artist impression images that were circulated as part of the planning process earlier this year.

“Around three-and-a-half years on from Storm Dennis, the Council is still working very hard to repair damaged infrastructure. A programme of Welsh Government-funded repairs, worth around £20m, is secured for schemes in Rhondda Cynon Taf – including the Iron Tram Bridge scheme. Other major works include the Castle Inn Bridge in Treforest, White Bridge in Pontypridd, Feeder Pipe Bridge in Abercynon and Tynybryn Footbridge in Tonyrefail.

“I’m pleased that the Iron Tram Bridge is on course to reopen to the public during October 2023, with the final arrangements to be communicated by the Council in due course. Thank you to residents for your continued cooperation as we enter the final weeks of this important restoration scheme.”