Reinstatement of the Iron Tram Bridge Robertstown by the end of the summer?

Reinstatement of the Iron Tram Bridge Robertstown by the end of the summer?

 As many of you will know who travel the Aberdare bypass the landmark Iron Bridge in Robertstown has been missing for some time and unused since August 2018 when the council erected a barrier preventing the use of the Public Right of Way, a barrier that was conceived by many as a permanent barrier, well it is almost 5 years since the Public Right of Way has been out of use.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel with the bridge being reinstated by the end of the summer this year, after being advised by Richard Scott Jones of Archaeological Services Wales & Border Counties and Cadw to write to the Highways Department at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council the response below.

The response

I refer to your email dated 28th May 2023 and would confirm that difficulties were encountered on the refurbishment and re-installation of the said bridge. Cadw approval had been obtained for the original proposals.

As part of the scheme, the bridge was removed and then all the bridge members were “x-rayed” and assessed by specialists. The investigation revealed significant concerns to the bridge members. As a result, the refurbishment of the bridge had to be carefully re-considered / re-designed and as a result, new approval was sought and has been obtained from Cadw for the changed refurbishment works. The proposals are now awaiting planning determination, which is anticipated later this month.

 Works to the abutments and scour issues have already been undertaken and completed.

Subject to the planning process and NRW approval of the contractor’s temporary works, the re-commencement of the bridge works will be later this summer.

A thought

There is one thought that comes to mind after reading the reply and work schedule, is a case of the Iron Bridge turning into a Triggers Broom sponsored by Heinz?

What Is Coflein?

Cadw’s original description of the bridge:

The monument consists of the remains of a very early cast iron bridge, dating to 1811. The bridge measures c. 3m wide by c. 10m long and crosses the River Cynon at Robertstown. It comprises a decking of 17 cast iron plates supported on four parallel lattice beams between stone abutments. Cast on a pillar of the bridge is the inscription ‘Abernant 1811’ (Abernant was a local iron foundry). It was built to carry the Llwydcoed tramroad which ran from Hirwaun to Cwmbach.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 19th-century industrial construction techniques and transportation systems. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

There is a lot of history in and around Aberdare it’s sad to see so much deterioration being allowed in the Town and surrounding areas.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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