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Background

Major refurbishment of White Bridge to secure the Listed structure

Written by on 13th May 2022

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have confirmed that the planned repair and refurbishment scheme to White Bridge in Pontypridd will begin on Monday May 23 – in order to secure the structure for the future following severe storm damage.

Berw Road Bridge, known as White Bridge, was damaged by Storm Dennis, and was closed with immediate effect in February 2020 to ensure safety. The Council has worked closely with Cadw to gain consent for major repairs to the Listed structure, which also supports a gas main through a pipe on the bridge.

A series of initial repairs were carried out last year, with the first phase of work from June 2021 successfully delivering scour repairs, and repairs to the pier and embankment. This enabled the bridge to temporarily reopen to the public. Trial repairs ahead of the main work was then completed in November 2021.

The Council has made it clear throughout that the main work to future-proof the structure represents a major scheme, requiring White Bridge to close for a considerable period of time. It has today announced that the work will begin from Monday, May 23 – and is scheduled for completion in early 2023.

The scheme will completely refurbish White Bridge, including significant concrete repairs that will restore and maintain the structure’s heritage. The scheme will also install a scour apron to the north pier, complete soil nailing to the south-east embankment, deliver masonry repairs to the wingwalls and repair the wrought iron railings at the southern approaches to the structure.

From May 23 (8am) for the entire scheme, White Bridge (between Berw Road and The Parade) will close to motorists. An alternative route from south of the closure is via The Parade, West Street, Bridge Street Roundabout, Bridge Street and Berw Road. In the opposite direction, proceed via Berw Road, Bridge Street, West Street, Middle Street, Bonvilston Road and The Parade.

A map outlining the closure and alternative routes is available here.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be permitted to use the bridge for the majority of the scheme – with the exception of the first and last six weeks of work while scaffolding is erected and dismantled. Therefore, from May 23, the bridge will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists up until early July 2022. Access will not be maintained for emergency service vehicles throughout the entire scheme.

Roger Waters, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Director, Frontline Services, said:

“The upcoming work at White Bridge in Pontypridd is the scheduled main repair scheme to rectify damage caused by Storm Dennis. We have been able to reopen the bridge since September 2021 thanks to a successful first phase of repairs last summer, but the Council made it clear that the bridge would need to close for a further period to deliver the main concrete repairs in 2022.

“White Bridge represents a priority scheme for the Council, as part of a £6.4m investment earmarked for Storm Dennis works within the Council’s 2022/23 Highways Capital Programme. This funding has been secured from Welsh Government, and will progress a number of key schemes which also include Castle Inn Footbridge, Feeder Pipe Footbridge and Tynybryn Footbridge.

“Separately, £5.65m has been earmarked within the capital programme for Highways Structures this year – including for key schemes such as the Brook Street Footbridge replacement in Ystrad, repairs to Imperial Bridge in Porth, replacement of the Llanharan Railway Footbridge and the Nant Cwm Parc Cantilever repairs in Treorchy, which are all now underway on site.

“The Council recognises that the upcoming White Bridge closure will again be disruptive to residents and local commuters, and I’d like to thank the whole community for their patience and cooperation. This scheme is vital to not only ensure this local transport link remains available for the community for years to come, but also to sympathetically restore an important Listed structure.”