A month-long road closure has begun near the old Dyfi bridge which will lead to detours of up to an hour for people living west along the A493.
A 100 metre stretch of road in front of the Machynlleth Dyfi Cottages closed at 7am on Saturday 10 February for 30 days. The work being done on the north side of the Afon Dyfi next to the old Machynlleth bridge is to improve drainage to defend the listed properties from flooding in the high-risk area.
According to the contractors working on the road, Alun Griffiths, the closure went ahead as planned at the weekend and the first two days of work were given “helpful weather”.
The contractors who also built the newly constructed Dyfi Bridge, estimate the work will take no more than 30 days, but that the exact date of completion will be “weather dependent”.
A spokesperson said: “People are able to park on either side of the closure. There is traffic management in place as keeping turning bays clear for the shuttle buses is key.”
There are now “designated parking spaces” on the east and west sides of the closure for people to drive, park, and then walk into town. The road closure will however cause significant disruption for all those living west of the closure towards Pennal, where their eight-minute drives into Machynlleth and further south will now become a one-hour drive in which the only detour is via Tywyn and Corris.
Alun Griffiths has created mitigation plans to help lessen the effect on the communities on either side of the closure, however no financial reimbursement will be made.
Instead, bus replacement services and taxis for the medically vulnerable are in effect.
Machynlleth’s old nineteenth-century bridge closed permanently on 2 February the same day the new Dyfi A487 bridge opened.
In a statement released on 22 January Alun Griffiths explained why the closure was necessary: "The A493 in front of the cottages is narrow and congested with several underground public utility services including a high-pressure water main, electricity and communication cables.
"This limits the available route for the drainage works to the centre of the road.
"A deep excavation is also needed to carry out the drainage improvement work and the safety measures to protect the workforce and public during excavation means that almost the full width of the carriageway is required for the work."
Meanwhile, locals have started taking advantage of Alun Griffiths’ mitigation plans. Resident Jenny Vaughan wrote on Facebook on Sunday 11 February: “A thumbs-up to contractors! I used the parking facility this morning at 8:30 on the Pennal side of the bridge.
“The designated area for parking was blocked off and managed by very helpful staff who are there during working hours. Whilst I was there I saw the bus from Tywyn turn in the forestry path lay-by and reverse up to the bridge past the parked cars. Passengers were escorted across the bridge and onto a waiting shuttle bus.”