Preparing for river realignment and bridge replacement in Tonyrefail

Written by on 3rd April 2023

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are set to begin preliminary work this week near the A4119 in Tonyrefail ahead of a major scheme later this year – to realign the river channel, carry out embankment repairs and replace the Tynybryn footbridge. 

The River Ely has caused significant scour damage at a location near the A4119 in Tonyrefail, between Tynybryn Road and Park Lane. Important work is required to realign the river away from the direction of private properties. The Council has appointed Balfour Beatty and their subcontractors to deliver the works – which also include other protections to the river and embankment.

The Tynybryn footbridge provides a key link across the river at a location nearby, as it supports a local route for pedestrians and cyclists between Tynybryn Road and the A4119 underpass. The structure will be upgraded during the scheme.

This scheme is included in Welsh Government’s programme of Storm Dennis repairs, which will fund £20.1m works across Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2023/24. It is separate to the Council’s £27.665m Capital Programme for Highways, Transportation and Strategic Projects that will be delivered in the year ahead.

Enabling works starting in the week commencing April 3

This six-week phase of work will create an access road off the A4119, located around 250-metres north of the Mill Street Roundabout. A haul road and compound area will also be established between the A4119 and the River Ely, following tree and vegetation clearance which has recently been completed.

Traffic management is required for the first two weeks of work (from w/c April 3), scheduled for the school Easter holidays to minimise disruption. Traffic lights and a single lane closure will be in operation on the A4119 from 9.30am to 3pm each day, avoiding the main peak travel periods. Officers will be on site to monitor traffic flows and can manually control the signals if required.

The footpath and Tynybryn footbridge will be unaffected by the preparatory work and will remain open throughout. Creation of the access point off the A4119 will minimise the traffic management needed for the main scheme.

Main works scheme later this year

The main work will start after the preliminary phase, currently scheduled for mid-May 2023. It will start with demolition of the existing footbridge to realign the river channel, install scour protection to around 50-metres of embankment, install weirs, and complete remediation of embankment scour damage.

The replacement footbridge will be Active Travel compliant, while its alignment will be improved in comparison to the existing structure. Associated footway and lighting work will be completed as part of the scheme. Landscaping and ecological enhancements will also be completed after the main phase of work.

The footpath between Tynybryn Road and Park Lane will be closed for the duration of the main scheme, as a necessary measure due to the bridge’s demolition. A free shuttle bus service will be in operation while the footpath is closed – further details will be communicated with residents nearer the time.

The contractor will use land off the A4119 for its site offices, while a section of unused land north of Park Lane Surgery will be used for staff car parking and a small welfare facility. None of the surgery’s car park area will be used by the contractor – this was a previous proposal that is no longer being considered.

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