End of two years of ‘traffic chaos’ in sight with footbridge set to be installed
Anthony Lewis, Local democracy reporter
A new railway footbridge is set to be lifted into position in an area where business owners say works have caused traffic chaos over the last two years.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has confirmed the arrangements that will be put in place to lift the new Llanharan railway footbridge into position, which will mean an overnight road closure at Bridgend Road this weekend.
The damaged footbridge adjacent to the railway bridge has been demolished, and its replacement has been built away from the works site.
The footbridge will be put in place between 8pm on Saturday, October 14, and 8am on Sunday, October 15.
A large crane will lift the footbridge into position depending on the weather and if there are high winds, it will need to be postponed.
The council has booked possession of the railway line for the same time periods on the following weekend (October 21-22) as a back up.
The lift requires a full road closure of the bridge – of Bridgend Road, from its junction with Chapel Road, south-westwards for around 80 metres.
The alternative route for drivers is via the A473 (Rose Terrace, Bridgend Road and New Road), Brynna Road, Grove Terrace, Hillside Avenue and the A473 (Bridgend Road) – or this in reverse order, and access for emergency services, cyclists and pedestrians will not be kept.
During the works, Stagecoach’s 404 service that runs in the evening between the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and Bridgend will be unable to serve Llanharan and Brynna in both directions, and will divert via Bryncae.
A free shuttle bus service will run to and from the war memorial bus stop in Llanharan to serve Brynna and Llanharan, and connect with the 404 service in both directions at the film studio bus stop to enable onward connections to Bridgend, Llanharry and Talbot Green.
After the bridge lift, the remaining on-site works will be completed over four to five weeks – before all traffic management is removed.
There will be finishing works related to the new footbridge, and this will be followed by a series of local works that could not be completed during the length of the bridge scheme.
A signalised pedestrian crossing near the Llanharan Community Shop will be installed, following requests from the community and councillors to improve pedestrian safety in the area.
The council said it will also repair some highway drainage, and carry out some carriageway resurfacing on the A473 between the bridge and the High Corner – including the entrance into Chapel Road.
Previously, business owners in Llanharan expressed their frustration at temporary traffic lights causing traffic to back up down the A473 entering the village and also up Hillside Avenue during peak times.
Residents said they were initially told it would take months but the works have lasted about two years.
In August, the council said the footbridge scheme has been challenging and more recently, work undertaken by the contractor was defective with a re-design needed for piles on the south support to the bridge and a solution was needed that was agreed by all parties.
The council stressed at the time that the continuing delays were “unacceptable” and apologised for the ongoing inconvenience the scheme caused to residents.
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