Iron Tram Bridge Repairs Begin

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Work has begun to repair Iron Tram Bridge in Wales after Storm Dennis caused further damage to the already dilapidated structure.

The bridge near Robertstown had been experiencing problems of corrosion before the inclement weather hit in February 2020. However, the heavy rainfall and fast winds made the pedestrian and cycle route unsafe to travel on, and fencing has been secured around the bridge for the last 20 months.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondaa Cynon Taf Council and cabinet member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve reached a major landmark in delivering this complex repair scheme to the Iron Tram Bridge.”

Work will commence this week to partially demolish the top of the bridge abutments so the main bridge beams can be removed and repairs can be carried out to the abutments. This will continue until November, during which time the path will be closed, and an alternative route will be signposted for cyclists and walkers.

Following this, repairs will be carried out to the main bridge off-site, reducing disruption to those using the route.

Finally, the bridge and abutments will be reinstalled in spring, with the re-opening of the Public Right of Way expected in summer 2022.

Due to the old age of the structure, with the bridge having been originally erected in the early 1800s, repair work could not be rushed into, which is why it has taken until now for the improvements to be made.

It is essential some of the original features are maintained, as Ancient Monuments says it is “of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 19th century industrial construction techniques and transportation systems”.

Mr Morgan noted that Rhondaa Cynon Taf Council is responsible for more than 1,500 culvets, bridges and walls in the area, and plans to carry out repair work to structures damaged by Storm Dennis thanks to a £500,000 fund to Highways and Parks.

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