A COUNTY councillor is concerned about the lack of information over plans for the resurfacing of Monmouth’s Wye Bridge.
In January, Monmouthshire County Council Cabinet Member Catrin Maby announced that the condition of this highway had been a longstanding concern, with improvement works on hold pending repairs to the structure of the railway arches and mains utility services.
The council says improvement works are now complete and works have commenced to investigate the existing road base material which will allow the designer to assess the form of repairs required and prepare the detailed design and contract specification.
Once this has been completed, the tender process will begin with the expectation of construction works between mid-July and up to the end of August when traffic flows are reduced.
But Wyesham councillor Emma Bryn told the Beacon yesterday: “Many of your readers will be concerned about the continuing degradation of the surface of our Wye Bridge and today I have received the latest update on my question regarding the Wye Bridge Repair work timetable.
“Unfortunately the notice does not state if pedestrians and cyclists will be affected by the closure, so I will clarify this matter and let you know. I don’t want people getting stuck on the wrong side of the bridge again, as I know a few of us found ourselves trapped in 2020’s floods.”
A council spokesman said: “We appreciate that these essential repairs will cause significant disruption due to the need for full closure of the road, resulting in a lengthy diversion route. In order to reduce the impact upon the local community, it is planned to carry out some of the work during night time or over the weekend.
“Council officers will work with the contractor to agree the construction management plan. Priority will be given to the safety of both the travelling public and the contractors workforce.
“Details of the timings and potential disruption will be shared with the local community once the contractor has been appointed and the detailed programme has been confirmed. The road closures will follow the usual statutory process which includes wider consultation with highway users such as the hauliers, emergency services and other businesses who may be impacted during the works.”
Meanwhile, the refurbishment of a popular Grade II-listed bridge spanning the River Wye is due to be completed soon.
Vital maintenance and refurbishment work has been taking place on the Tintern Wireworks Bridge, which marks the Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire border, to prevent it from becoming unsafe to use.
The bridge is jointly owned by Gloucestershire Council and Monmouthshire Council, with Gloucestershire having the responsibility for bridge inspections and maintenance.
Refurbishment work got under way in August 2022, and work carried out has included strengthening the structure and removal of timber decking, which has been replaced with new steel and timber decking.
Some of the work has been delayed because of the poor winter weather, causing hold-ups in completing the painting, removing scaffolding from over the structure and welding.
The final work is planned to be completed as soon as possible and the bridge will then be reopened to pedestrians and cyclists.
There is also an agreement in place to allow light vehicles to access individual properties and land on the Gloucestershire side, but it is not suitable for all vehicles to use.
Cllr Maby, Cabinet member for climate change and the environment, said: “I am pleased to see that this major restoration project is nearing completion.
“The work undertaken will hopefully safeguard this important bridge for generations to come. We would like to thank residents and visitors for their patience during the works.”
Local Gloucestershire county councillor Chris McFarling said: “I know the closure of the bridge has been inconvenient for people and I would like to thank them for their continuing patience.
“The reopening of the bridge will now fully link those users of the Sedbury to Tintern Greenway, through the Tidenham tunnel for all local communities and visitors.”
Tintern ward councillor Cllr Ann Webb, said: “I hope that the works will be completed for May so that Tintern can benefit from the bank holidays which is always a busy time for tourism. I am delighted that we will soon have the bridge fully restored to its former glory and safe for public use again.”
See www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/tintern-bridge for more details.