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Final Caernarfon bypass cost rises to £139m due to Covid

04 Dec 2021 3 minute read
Caernarfon bypass from space. Picture by ESRI World Imagery

The final cost of the Caernarfon bypass has risen to £139m due to Covid, the Welsh Government has said.

The road which is due to open in early 2022 was estimated to cost £113m in 2015, but the price had risen to £135m by the time work got underway.

The bypass was given the green light on the basis that it would make it easier to travel between Llyn Peninsula, Porthmadog, Bangor and the A55, and reduce noise and air pollution for people in Bontnewydd and Caernarfon who live along the A487.

“The estimate for the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass is £139m which includes additional costs required to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing work to continue safely throughout,” a spokesperson for the Welsh Government told the Daily Post newspaper.

“The scheme is on schedule to be completed by early 2022.”

The Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros constructed road will run from the Goat roundabout on the A499-A487 junction to the Plas Menai roundabout near Y Felinheli.

In doing so it will bypass Llanwnda, Dinas, Bontnewydd and Caernarfon. There will be a speed limit of 60mph on the main road and 40mph at roundabouts.

Gwynedd Council image of what the green Caernarfon flyover could look like

One bone of contention is what will happen to the flyover that passes through the centre of Caernarfon once the bypass is complete.

The controversial £4m structure was built in the 1970s as part of the yr A487 trunk road and prompted much opposition at the time as it involved the destruction of 98 buildings including a primary school and the town library.

However, as soon as the Welsh Government finished construction of the Caernarfon bypass, which should ensure that most traffic from Bangor to the Llŷn Peninsula and mid-west Wales does not pass directly through the town, care of the flyover will soon be transferred to the council.

In October Gwynedd Council started a public consultation on whether people wanted the flyover to remain or not. The consultation closed on 1 November.

One plan is to take the bypass built in the 1970s down while another is to use it as a green public footpath.

“The inner relief road suffers from a number of defects and the road surface and is nearing its residual life and will require resurfacing in the near future,” the consultation stated.

“Options are being considered for the future use of the flyover, once the new by-pass has been constructed.”

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Eric Hall
2 years ago

I notice that of all the quoted options for the use of the flyover, there is no mention of restoring the railway line from Bangor to Afon Wen. If Wales is serious about independence it needs to think about how it’s going to connect up the north and the south. With the country’s major ports being in the south, there needs to be some way of moving imports to the north and exports to the south, and fleets of container lorries on the A470 is a non-starter. The Welsh Government needs to get to grips with the idea and make… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Eric Hall
2 years ago

Surprised Lee Waters hasn’t tried to stop this being built

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