The £46m new Machynlleth bridge will finally open to the public later this week.

The single-carriageway across the afon Dyfi will finally open to the public 18 months after its initial opening date this Friday, 2 February.

The opening ceremony will be attended by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters and pupils Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.

The one-hour ceremony will start at 11.30am, with the bridge finally open to public pedestrians and vehicles from "around 2pm" that same day.

The Deputy Minister, pupils, headteacher Dafydd Jones, and a representative from bridge contractor Alun Griffiths will walk and cycle across the bridge to unveil a plaque marking the opening of the long-anticipated bridge.

The ceremony organised by the Senedd will include local government officials, with Machynlleth Town Council then hosting a buffet for the attendees. Plans for the new A487 bridge were approved by the Senedd in January 2020 with work due to begin in summer 2020.

Speaking ahead of the official opening, Machynlleth mayor, Cllr Jeremy Paige, said: "My champagne is on ice until the road to Pennal is opened and works are completed.

"It (the new bridge) will be hugely significant in terms of access to hospitals from the north, along with getting to work and schools.

"It will also protect the old bridge which is regularly damaged. It is pleasing to see the listed cottages being looked after.

"I would like to extend thanks to Griffiths for their work on this difficult project."

The Covid-19 pandemic caused significant delays, with work finally beginning in March 2021. The bridge was to then open in spring 2023 but was pushed back several times.

The bridge will connect Machynlleth to the A487 towards Corris, relieving pressure from the old but beloved nineteenth-century stone bridge 480m downstream from the new structure.

The Welsh government stated the old Pont-ar-Dyfi bridge “was not designed to carry the current volume of traffic and the road is often closed due to frequent flooding causing traffic to take a diversion of up to 30 miles”. The old bridge will then become permanently pedestrianised from 10 February, allowing only emergency vehicles, cyclists, those on foot, and landowners of the land directly around the bridge access.

A section of the A493 will temporarily close along with the old bridge on 10 February so contractors can carry out drainage works to protect the area from further flood damage.

A stretch of the A493 on the north side of the old bridge in front of the Dyfi cottages will be closed to all vehicle access for approximately 30 days from 10 February, with only cyclist and pedestrian access.

For more information about the bridge opening and the road closure see the New Dyfi Bridge Community Page on the Alun Griffiths Website.