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St Albans Bridge reopens following significant replacement scheme

Credit: RCT Council

The new St Albans Bridge in Blaenrhondda reopened to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians on Friday afternoon, following good progress made on its replacement scheme throughout the autumn months.

The bridge reopened on Friday, December 11, after a road safety audit was completed on Thursday. The final stages of the scheme have seen the installation of street lighting, drainage and paving to the bridge deck – before the final resurfacing and white lining to the road was completed this week.

St Albans Bridge was built over the River Rhondda and railway line in the 1930s. In 2016, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to support its replacement and £1.78m funding was allocated towards the scheme in 2017/18 through #RCTinvest – with further funding allocated as the project progressed. The total cost of the scheme is £2.09m.

The Council’s contractor Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd will continue activity across the wider site over the coming weeks – primarily focusing on work beneath the bridge, towards reopening the walking routes which pass under the structure. An announcement about this will be made in the New Year.

Road users and local residents are advised that it will be necessary to close the bridge for a further period during February 2021, to enable the replacement of seven panels to improve the aesthetic quality of the parapet.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The reopening of St Albans Bridge on Friday represents the Council delivering upon a commitment made four years ago, to replace this significant 1930s structure which had reached the end of its design life. More than £2m has been invested to achieve this for the benefit of the local community, with funding allocated within our Highways Capital Programme over several years.

“The Council’s contractor made excellent progress in 2020, despite significant challenges from unprecedented weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic. St Albans Bridge is the latest large infrastructure project to be delivered after the Mountain Ash Cross Valley Link, Llys Cadwyn and the new footbridge into Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd – and also follows on closely from the delivery of Castell Ifor Bridge in Hopkinstown during November.

“Works activity will continue to take place across the site, with the next landmark being the reopening of the community route beneath the bridge during the New Year. I’d like to thank local residents for their cooperation and patience while the main bridge works were taking place throughout the year.”