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River channel works and Tynybryn footbridge scheme to begin

Work to realign the river channel and repair the embankment between Park Lane and Tynybryn Road in Tonyrefail will get underway soon – while the scheme also includes replacing the Tynybryn footbridge nearby.

Preliminary work ahead of the main scheme started in early April 2023 and is shortly coming to an end. It has included creating a temporary access off the A4119 at Tonyrefail towards the main works site – a location along the River Ely between Park Lane and Tynybryn Road. The traffic management that has been in place on the A4119 in recent weeks will shortly be removed.

The main scheme will start from Saturday, June 17, and contractor Balfour Beatty is appointed to deliver the work. The scheme will rectify significant scour damage that has been caused by the River Ely, by realigning the river channel to improve flows and reduce the risk of scour.

In order to protect properties on Tynybryn Road and a Welsh Water sewer, embankment scour protection will be installed using natural blockstones over a length of 50-metres. Other improvements to the channel will be achieved by installing weirs, formalising the watercourse outlet to the rear of Tynybryn Road, and remediation work upstream of the culvert beneath the A4119.

Located nearby, the Tynybryn footbridge provides a key link across the river, supporting a local walking and cycling route between Tynybryn Road and the A4119 underpass. The structure will be demolished during the works, and replaced with an upgraded active travel-compliant footbridge with an improved alignment. Associated footway and street lighting works will be completed, while landscaping and ecological enhancements will follow the scheme.

A closure of the footpath between Park Lane and Tynybryn Road is required to ensure safety, and this will be in place for the entire duration of the scheme – starting from Saturday, June 17.

As a result, the Council has arranged for a free shuttle bus service to operate locally, transporting residents between each side of the footpath closure. This will run between 8am and 6.30pm from Mondays to Fridays during the scheme. The first service will therefore run on the morning of Monday, June 19. Full details of this service are included at the bottom of this update.

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “This key scheme in Tonyrefail contains a number of elements – including realignment of the river channel, repairs to the embankment, replacement of Tynybryn footbridge, and various other protections. The main scheme will begin soon, following a preliminary stage to create a works access off the A4119.

“This scheme is included in the ongoing programme of Storm Dennis repairs, with Welsh Government supporting us with major costs. This is separate to the £4.8m received for flood alleviation work across the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management and Small Scale Works Grant programmes, for which the Council is providing match funding – and also the £4.45m Highways Structures budget in our Capital Programme.

“Key Storm Dennis schemes which are also being progressed this year include the Castle Inn Bridge replacement in Treforest, Berw Road (White Bridge) in Pontypridd, and the Feeder Pipe Footbridge in Abercynon.

“The upcoming work in Tonyrefail requires a closure of the footpath between Tynybryn Road and the A4119 underpass. We understand that this is a key local link, which is why a free weekday shuttle bus is being provided for residents to travel to each side of the closure. The Council will keep residents up to date with progress, and the arrangements for reopening the footpath later this year. Thanks in advance to the community for your cooperation.”

Shuttle Bus arrangements from Monday, June 19

The temporary shuttle bus service will pick up and drop off residents at bus stops on Tynybryn Road, Francis Street, Tylchawen Terrace, Mill Street, Waunrhydd Road and Glifach Road. This will be a weekday service only.

Departure times from Tynybryn Road (outside Tynybryn Stores) – 8am, 8.40am, 9.20am, 10am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 12pm, 12.40pm, 1.20pm, 2pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm, 4pm, 4.40pm, 5.20pm and 6pm. 

Departure times from Mill Street (near the junction with Park Lane) – 8.20am, 9am, 9.40am, 10.20am, 11am, 11.40am, 12.20pm, 1pm, 1.40pm, 2.20pm, 3pm, 3.40pm, 4.20pm, 5pm, 5.40pm and 6.20pm.