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St Albans Bridge replacement reaches important landmark

Credit: Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

The significant ongoing scheme to replace St Albans Bridge in Blaenrhondda has reached an important milestone, as large steel beams are being delivered to the works site for installation over the coming weeks. 

St Albans Bridge was built over the River Rhondda and railway line in the 1930s, and was in increasingly poor condition. In 2016, Cabinet Members agreed to support its replacement and a total of £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.

Credit: Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

The construction phase (including demolition of the old structure) began on site in January 2020, and the Council’s contractor has made important progress despite the challenges brought by the Coronavirus emergency. However, good weather has helped recent progress to be made, and the scheme is on course for completion in late autumn 2020.

All demolition work has now been completed, which was followed by piling and construction to the west abutment of the new bridge. June saw the installation of concrete beams to form the new support structure. The next phase of the project is the delivery of large steel beams for the new bridge – and the first site delivery was taken by the contractor on Friday, July 10.

The beams will be installed over the next fortnight, along with the start of the bridge deck construction – both important landmarks for the wider scheme.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The Council has recently announced that this important scheme in Blaenrhondda is still on course for completion this year, despite the inevitable disruption brought by the Coronavirus national emergency. Cabinet made a commitment for the Council to complete this scheme for the benefit of the community, and I’m pleased with recent progress reports from the site.

“The Council’s £25.03m Highways Capital Programme for 2020/21 contains a £6m capital investment to repair and future-proof structures supporting our highway network – with more than 1,500 bridges, walls and culverts in Council ownership. Along with the scheme in Blaenrhondda, the Council has recently started bridge and retaining wall repairs at Station Street in Treherbert, while the Castell Ifor Bridge repairs in Hopkinstown are ongoing. We also continue to make separate funding available for structures affected by Storm Dennis.

“The St Albans scheme has reached an important stage, with the delivery and installation of large bridge beams and also the bridge deck construction. The Council is working closely with our contractor, which is providing regular progress bulletins to keep the community informed. I’d like to thank residents for their cooperation as this scheme moves towards completion this year.”