The proposed new Dyfi Bridge on the A487 north of Machynlleth, has been given the go-ahead by Welsh Government Transport Minister Ken Skates.
The £46m scheme will improve road safety, strengthen links between communities, provide active travel opportunities and build resilience against flooding, as well as improve transport connectivity to help stimulate further economic development in this part of Wales.
The current Dyfi Bridge is a 19th century stone narrow bridge with poor visibility and no footways. The river Dyfi frequently floods, severing communities on either side of the bridge, with these incidents likely to increase because of climate change. The bridge’s closures can impact on the community’s ability to access key services such as healthcare, education and public transport in Machynlleth and beyond.
The new development will be a viaduct across the floodplain and a river bridge across the Afon Dyfi approximately 480m upstream of the existing bridge. The project will support the Welsh Government’s work on the mid-Wales Growth Deal which is currently being developed.
The scheme will include traffic calming and improved drainage on the A493 immediately north of the bridge to protect the existing cottages, and there will be a flood bund constructed to protect the Dyfi Eco Park from river flooding.
The removal of large scale traffic from the 19th century bridge and provision of a walking and cycle path will improve active travel opportunities increasing the attraction of Machynlleth and surrounding area as a tourist destination.
Ken Skates said:
The A487 is a key route between North and South Wales linking Gwynedd, Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. It is also an important local route providing access to the amenities and services of Machynlleth.
We are already making improvements further north with the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass and it is clear to me that action needs to be taken to improve this section of the A487 so that there is a safe and reliable route linking the communities around Machynlleth, including better and more reliable access to bus and train services in the town.
The new route is good news for North and Mid Wales and will bring many benefits including enhanced protection against flooding. With climate change increasing the risk of flooding it’s important that we provide protection for homes and businesses and this scheme will contribute to both.
This vital infrastructure will also complement the work the Welsh Government is doing to support the mid-Wales Growth Deal to develop new economic opportunities in this important part of Wales.
Tourism is important for the Dyfi Valley and the removal of heavy traffic from the existing listed stone bridge allows for more walking and cycling opportunities which will be excellent not only for local people but for tourists too.
The next stage will include detailed design works and further ground investigation work. Construction could begin in summer 2020, subject to the statutory process, with completion by summer 2022.