Construction of the new £46 million Dyfi Bridge near Machynlleth is set to begin in March, Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates said today.
The scheme will improve road safety, strengthen links between communities, provide active travel opportunities and build resilience against flooding, as well as improve transport connectivity to help stimulate further economic development in this part of Wales.
The new development will be a viaduct across the floodplain and a river bridge across the Afon Dyfi approximately 480 metres upstream of the existing bridge
The current 19th century bridge is frequently closed due to flooding, an occurrence which is likely to increase with the impact of climate change.
The bridge’s closures can impact on the community’s ability to access key services such as healthcare, education and public transport in Machynlleth and beyond. The new bridge will provide a safe and reliable route between communities.
The removal of large scale traffic from the 19th century bridge and provision of a walking and cycle path will improve active travel opportunities increasing the attraction of Machynlleth and surrounding area as a tourist destination.
The scheme will include traffic calming and improved drainage on the A493 immediately north of the bridge to protect the existing cottages, and there will be a flood bund constructed to protect the Dyfi Eco Park from river flooding.
Transport Minister Ken Skates said:
“I am pleased to be able to announce that construction will begin next month on this much needed scheme. As well as being a key route between north and south Wales, the A487 is an important link between communities locally. All too often these communities can find themselves isolated because of flooding at Dyfi Bridge and this must be addressed.
“The new bridge will also make public transport more reliable, allowing people to access important services in Machynlleth and further afield. The existing listed 19th century stone bridge will continue to be an important asset for the area as an active travel route in the beautiful Dyfi valley benefiting locals and visitors alike.
“This vital infrastructure will also complement the work the Welsh Government is doing to support the mid-Wales Growth Deal to develop new economic opportunities in this important part of Wales.
As part of the benefits for the local community, Alun Griffiths contractors plan to appoint a graduate engineer and two local apprentices to work on the scheme. Virtual jobs fairs and meet the buyer events will also be organised, and links set up with Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.
Griffiths’ Executive Director Martyn Evans said:
“We are delighted to be working with Welsh Government to deliver these important improvements to the A487, making the route more resilient and reliable during flooding events. The new viaduct across the Dyfi Valley will also help to preserve the long-term integrity of the existing Dyfi Bridge, which is a Grade II Scheduled Ancient Monument.
“Before works commence in March, we will be undertaking significant community engagement, explaining our plans and detailing how we will be minimising disruption to the local community. We’re also looking forward to embedding the seven Well-being Goals of the Future Generations Act into our operations – ensuring local people, now and in the future, benefit from the project.
The go-ahead was given for the Dyfi Bridge in January last year. Work has been done to ensure construction can now begin while complying with COVID-19 regulations. The new Dyfi Bridge is expected to be completed by spring 2023.