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Road that clasped due to torrential rainfall reopens to pedestrians

Credit: Neath Port Talbot Council

A footpath on Castle Drive, Cimla – which suffered a major road collapse due to torrential rainfall earlier this month – has been restored for pedestrian use.

However, the roadway itself is likely to remain closed to through traffic for several months due to the complex and serious nature of the collapse.

It happened on October 4th this year when emergency services across South West Wales were “inundated” with calls for help due to widespread flooding.

During the day of very heavy rain, a culvert in Castle Drive became blocked causing rain water to overtop the road and wash away an embankment causing a landslip resulting in the footpath and a large section of carriageway collapsing.

In order to reopen the road safely and prevent a similar situation happening again, particularly given the succession of storms and heavy rainfall incidents currently being experienced, significant work will be required.

This will include :

  • Designing a remediation scheme to retain and rebuild the road and to replace the damaged culverted section of watercourse underneath it (work has already begun on the design by the council’s in-house engineering team).
  • Procuring contractors to carry out the specialist reconstruction work.
  • Ensuring utilities such as gas, water and electricity are maintained for local residents during the construction phase.
  • Ensuring the remediation scheme is robust and future proofed against extreme weather/rainfall by replacing the culvert crossing under the road – only undertaking the retaining element of the work would not be safeguarding the community and road users from similar occurrences.

Cllr Mike Harvey, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, said: “We are glad to be able to restore through pedestrian access to Castle Drive this weekend by reinstating a footpath which was affected by this collapse.

“While we are all working to mitigate the effects of Climate Change it’s clear we are already experiencing it here.

“Weather events such as the extreme rainfall on October 4th which caused flooding throughout the South West Wales region and which led to this road collapse, are becoming commonplace.

“We will endeavour to reinstate the highway in Castle Drive, restoring through traffic – a major engineering project the effects of which will be robust and long lasting – as soon as we possibly can.”

Only one footpath will be re-opened to allow pedestrian through access. The footpath on the opposite side of the road will remain closed.