New bridge revolutionises active travel in Newtown

Newtown in Powys this week saw a 53 metre long bridge lifted into place over the River Severn, representing a dramatic advancement for active travel in the area.

Exclusively for use by walkers, wheelers and cyclists, the bridge was lifted into place after a short delay due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Fabricated and painted offsite, the individual sections of bridge were delivered to Kirkhamsfield Depot and assembled to create the full superstructure. Alongside the construction of the steelwork, groundworks to complete the foundations and creation of the abutments on each side of the river have also been completed.

Acknowledging the amount of planning required for this part of the project, Matt Perry, Powys County Council’s Chief Officer – Place, said: ‘An activity of this magnitude always requires a huge amount of preparation and collaborative working, and we would like to thank the contractors, JN Bentley, YGC, R&R Engineering and Ainscough Crane Hire for their diligence and hard work.

‘We would also like to thank the local community for the co-operation throughout this project, especially those who had to move outside the safety exclusion zone on Saturday afternoon.’

Work is still ongoing to complete the installation, bridge deck and connecting paths.

Funded by Welsh Government with support from Transport for Wales, the steel, single span, open arch structure will connect the riverside path, communities, businesses and amenities on the west of the River Severn to Pool Road on the east.

This project will add to the growing network of active travel routes throughout the county and will make it easier for the people of Newtown to make short journeys such as to work, school or the local shops, by bike or on foot, rather than having to get in the car.

In March, Powys County Council secured further Welsh Government funding which will be spent on a scheme to allow more pupils and their families to walk or cycle to and from school and one to improve access to a canal towpath.

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


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