Pont Bodfel - temporary bridge to be installed

Date: 31/01/2019

Gwynedd Council is to install a temporary road-bridge over the Afon Rhyd-hir river on the A497 between Efailnewydd and Boduan.  This follows significant structural damage to the Grade II listed Pont Bodfel bridge which has had to be closed to traffic since Satrday (26 January).


Work to lay a temporary surface from the main road and to install the single-lane temporary Bailey bridge will get underway as soon as possible and it is expected that the road can then be re-opened with a two-way traffic light system within the next three weeks. Work to make the structure of Pont Bodfel safe is also underway as is the process of establishing the best permanent solution.


Gwynedd Council's Highways and Municipal Cabinet Member, Councillor Gareth Griffith said: "As soon as structural engineers confirmed that it would not be possible to immediately re-open Pont Bodfel, Council staff have acted swiftly to find the best possible temporary solution.


"Installing a temporary bridge and connecting road surface will be a significant challenge but, weather permitting, we are confident that the work can be completed in the next three weeks. This temporary measure will mean a quicker re-opening of the A497, which reduces the risk of a road traffic accident and will allow the emergency services to attend to calls as quickly as possible in the area.


"I would like to take this opportunity to thank local residents and road-users for their continued patience. Hopefully this announcement will be welcomed by local residents and businesses alike who have expressed concern about the possibility of an eight mile diversion from Boduan to Y Ffôr."


Steffan Jones, Temporary Head of Highways and Municipal Services added: "Initial technical assessments indicate that Pont Bodfel has suffered significant structural damage to one of the pillars, which appears to have been mainly caused by scouring damage under the bridge foundations.


"As this is a Grade Il three-span masonary bridge which dates back to the early 19th century, repairing Pont Bodfel will be a major logistical challenge. The Council is in discussions with the local landowner,  representatives from Cadw, the Natural Resources Wales (NRA) and the Welsh Government to identify the best long-term solution. The Council will need to go through a licencing process before any repair work can be undertaken at Pont Bodfel, due to flooding, pollution and habitat considerations.


"In the meantime, the installation of a temporary bridge will allow the A497 between Efailnewydd and Boduan  to be reopened as soon as possible.”


Until the new arrangements are in place, the Council is urging motorists to follow the diversionary routes.