This followed Transport for Wales’ decision to close the footbridge due to safety concerns just a fortnight before.
TfW is committed to reinstating the crossing as soon as they can but cannot yet give a detailed timeline for the work due to the challenges presented by Covid-19. The pandemic has not only changed the way TfW’s teams work but has also impacted on the supply chain and the lead-in times for materials. The building of a typical bridge on railway lines involves many stages, including consultations, site investigations, preliminary and detailed design, materials procurement, fabrication, enabling works and, finally, installation. TfW will now need to consider how this is all delivered in the context of coronavirus as safely and quickly as possible.
Transport for Wales and Alun Griffiths Ltd worked together around the clock to reopen the Rhymney Line by safely removing the bridge at the end of last month.
The Ty’n-y-Graig footbridge, which crossed the line and a minor road, was damaged beyond repair when it was struck by a road vehicle on the morning of 28 May. With trains unable to run under the bridge, TfW and Griffiths acted speedily to make the structure safe and prepared for its removal.
The bridge was removed overnight on Friday 29 May, allowing trains to begin running again ahead of schedule on the morning of Saturday 30 May.
Further work took place overnight on Sunday 31 May to complete the work, including removing the footbridge steps and demolishing the remaining abutment.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said:
“On behalf of everyone at TfW, I’d like to thank our infrastructure team and our colleagues at Griffiths for their hard work in ensuring the safe removal of the Ty’n-y-Graig footbridge. It is another example of our commitment to working collaboratively with our partners to Keep Wales Moving.
“I’d also like to thank our customers and the community of Llanbradach for their patience and understanding while work was being undertaken on the bridge. We appreciate that this is an historic facility used by the members of the community to access local woodlands, and we are committed to reinstating it as soon as we can.”