8 November 2022
A footbridge near Machynlleth temporarily closed during COVID is to be closed permanently for public safety, Powys County Council has confirmed.
The bridge over Afon Hengwm on footpath 260/40/1 at Hengwm Cyfeiliog near Machynlleth was closed during the COVID pandemic with the hope that it would re-open after repairs. But damage to bridge supports is so bad the structure could collapse, and the bridge must close permanently for public safety.
Walkers will be diverted to another bridge crossing approximately 500m upstream along adjacent footpaths – the diversion will add approximately 890m onto the route.
Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, Cllr Jackie Charlton said: “We understand concerns about the closure of the footbridge, which is particularly well used, and we appreciate how important it is to the local economy, local walkers and local people.
“However, our priority has to be public safety. The bridge was closed during the pandemic and barriers put in place. It was inspected regularly but no work could take place.
“We have become increasingly concerned about its condition, as the structure supporting the bridge is deteriorating and it could collapse. We need to take action to remove the bridge as a matter of urgency in the interests of public safety and ask the walkers to use the alternative crossing.
“River and site conditions mean a replacement bridge at the same location is not feasible so the closure will not influence any replacement plans as a new location will be needed.
“The cost of replacing the footbridge will be considerable and work could only be considered when resources are available and it will have to compete with other maintenance priorities,” she added.
“We appreciate the closure is disappointing to many but public safety has to be our priority and there is no alternative.”