A bridge in Llŷn is officially open following four years of work and an investment of up to £3 million.

Bodefail Bridge work which includes improvements to the road and surface water drainage works.

The bridge, which crosses Afon Rhyd-hir river and forms part of the A497 between Nefyn and Pwllheli, was officially opened today, Wednesday, 3 May. It replaces the old Bodfal Bridge.

The bridge’s new name was revealed during the ceremony and is a combination of the names of the villages closest to the bridge – Boduan and Efailnewydd. Magi Griffiths, a Year 2 pupil at Ysgol Pentreuchaf, won a competition to name the bridge.

Bridge open
Magi Griffiths, year 2 pupil at Ysgol Pentreuchaf cutting the ribbon on the bridge she named (Cyngor Gwynedd)

Old Bodfal Bridge, a Grade II listed structure which dates back to the 19th Century closed in January 2019 after significant damage and deterioration to the foundations following a storm. Traffic had to be diverted eight miles to the Ffôr for a time, while emergency work was carried out to install a temporary bridge and to repair the old bridge. The possibility of widening the old bridge and make it suitable to the needs of today’s traffic network was investigated. But after discussions with Cadw and conservation officers, it became clear this would not be viable and the building a new bridge began.

Cllr Berwyn Parry Jones said: “The A497 is a strategically important road for the people who live and work in this part of Gwynedd, so it’s great to be here on such an exciting and historic day. The new bridge and road are suitable for modern needs and will make life easier for local people to get from A to B. The old Bodfal Bridge has been protected as a recreational road for pedestrians and cyclists.

“I know things have been difficult over the last few years while the work was going on and I am extremely grateful for the patience of the local community throughout this period.”

A plaque on the new bridge (Cyngor Gwynedd)

Council ecologists have worked with engineers to ensure the natural environment and fish habitats in the river have been protected throughout the work.

The ribbon was cut Buan and Efailnewydd Cllr Anwen Davies, who said: “It was a pleasure to be part of the ceremony today. The new bridge looks fantastic and I’m also glad that the old bridge will still be in place as it is of local historical importance and will still be available for people to walk or cycle, safely from by traffic of the main road.

“I’m sure local people will be glad that the new bridge is open and it will make life easier. There is great anticipation for the Llŷn ac Eifionydd National Eisteddfod, especially as the festival Maes will be just a stone’s throw from the bridge. Everyone is please that it is ready for when people from all over Wales, and beyond, arrive here to the area.

“This is a popular area with tourists too so the new bridge will help us cope with the extra traffic of the busy holiday period, as people come here to enjoy the Llŷn countryside.”

The new bridge is approximately 17 meters long and three meters high with a single arch. It has been open to traffic for a few weeks but minor work still to be completed.

Griffiths were employed as main contractors on the project.

Owain Thomas, operations director north Wales for Griffiths said: “We are proud to have been a part of this project and to have played a key role in its successful completion.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of our local supply chain partners and stakeholders who have worked with us to make this day possible. I would also like to thank our construction team, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this project has been completed to the highest standards.

“We look forward to seeing thousands of people travel over the bridge this summer to attend the National Eisteddfod.”