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Council bridge schemes recognised in national engineering awards

Written by on 3rd December 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s replacement of St Alban’s Bridge in Blaenrhondda has won a prestigious accolade from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) – while repairs to the M&S Bridge in Pontypridd were also highly commended.

The annual ICE Wales Cymru Awards recognise the delivery of the best civil engineering projects across the country, with the winners chosen for their excellence across categories such as concept, design and construction – as well as health and safety, sustainability and community involvement. The 2021 award winners were announced by ICE on Wednesday, December 1.

St Alban’s Bridge in Blaenrhondda has won the Roy Edwards Award, presented to a civil engineering project demonstrating excellence in concept, planning, design, contract management and construction, with a final cost of less than £5m. The Council’s contractor was Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd.

The 1930s structure, built over the River Rhondda and railway line, needed to be replaced due its poor condition. A public exhibition was held in Tynewydd in December 2019 ahead of the construction phase, including demolition of the old structure, which began on site in January 2020. The project made excellent progress despite the challenges of extreme weather followed by the Covid-19 pandemic – and was able to reopen to the public in December 2020.

The Ynysangharad Footbridge (M&S Bridge) repair in Pontypridd has been highly-commended in the Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement, which recognises civil engineering works that have engaged with local communities while improving infrastructure of services. The Council’s contractor for the delivery of the scheme was Centregreat Ltd.

The footbridge between Pontypridd Town Centre and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park was significantly damaged by Storm Dennis in February 2020, and required an urgent repair scheme. The bridge was lifted out of place in November 2020 to be repaired on-site, utilising an area of the park. Works included grit blasting, painting and the replacement of damaged bearings, before the bridge was lifted back into place and reopened in March 2021.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “I’m very pleased that two of the Council’s recent bridge schemes have been recognised by the national awards run by the Institution of Civil Engineers – St Albans Bridge in Blaenrhondda as a category winner, and also the M&S Bridge in Pontypridd as a highly commended scheme.

“The Council is responsible for maintaining, repairing and ultimately future-proofing more than 1,500 structures which support the road network across Rhondda Cynon Taf – ranging from bridges to walls and culverts. We remain committed to providing significant investment each year for targeted repairs to highways structures, through our annual Highways Capital Programme.

“Community engagement represents such an important aspect of any major infrastructure scheme, such as a bridge replacement – and it is therefore particularly pleasing that, across the St Albans Bridge and M&S Bridge projects, the Institution of Civil Engineers has recognised the Council for its local engagement – as well as the final delivery of each scheme.”