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01/12/2023

Repair Work Complete On Footbridge In Blaendulais

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Major repair work on a historic footbridge in Blaendulais is now complete.

The bridge, which crosses the Neath and Brecon freight line at Blaendulais, had been closed for more than three years after Network Rail engineers' safety inspection found it required major repairs.

The wrought-iron lattice work and timber deck of the structure, as well as the stairs and supports, all needed replacing, repairing or strengthening.

The deck was lifted out by crane and replaced with a new span made from Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) resin, a polymer made from recycled waste plastic which will last for the next 60 years.

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Repairs were carried out to strengthen the stairs and new handrails were fitted, while the metalwork was grit-blasted and given a new coat of long-lasting paint. The finishing touch was to add tactile paving to the bottom of the staircase.

Network Rail's lead portfolio manager in the integrated infrastructure team Richard Compton said: "The footbridge was originally built in 1863 and while some maintenance has been carried out over the years, it has required a great deal of work both on and off site to restore it to its original condition and bring it back into use for the community.

"While Seven Sisters was closed, the villagers were able to cross the railway using a nearby road bridge but were very keen to have the historic footbridge reopened – some of them have been using it daily for decades.

"We are pleased to have completed the work, providing the community with a safer, stronger structure that will last for the next generation."

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