The long-awaited Dyfi A487 bridge has finally opened to the public today (2 February), dubbed a "symbol" of future Welsh road projects. The bridge opened this morning with a plaque unveiling by Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters.
Pupils from Ysgol Bro Hyddgen then cycled over the bridge with Mr Waters, becoming the first cyclists on the new cycle path.
The bridge then opened to public traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists at 2pm.
Unveiling the plaque along with staff from bridge builder Alun Griffiths Contractors and local councillors, Lee Waters said: "This area suffers terribly from flooding. Huge disruptions and detours have become a way of life around here, so this bridge is going to make a real difference in people's lives.
"It also creates resilience to what is going to be an ever wilder and wetter climate. It's going to get worse than this, so it's good that we've got the infrastructure now in place to prepare us for that. A big thanks to the team who have done all the work here -it's been a tough job so thank you for your efforts."
The new single-carriageway complete with pedestrian and cycle paths will relieve the old nineteenth-century bridge 480m downstream, which was regularly closed to flooding.
This £46m project is the first to be completed since the Welsh Government committed in February 2023 to only invest in road projects that help reduce carbon emissions, adapt to climate change impact, and provide connections to jobs whilst encouraging public transport options.
The new bridge is said to connect north and south Wales, connecting Machynlleth to Corris across the Afon Dyfi and the wide and often flooded valley.
Mr Waters said: “It has been great to visit today to open this new bridge which is a very visible symbol of the changes we are making and the way roads will be built from now on.
“This key strategic route links north and south Wales and provides connectivity to healthcare, education, employment, and leisure.
“I was particularly pleased to be among the first group of people on bikes to take advantage of the new cycling and walking route that is fully integrated into the new bridge, as part of a wider active travel network being developed in and around Machynlleth.
“This shows how we can make it easier to walk and cycle in rural Wales, as well as in our more urban towns and cities.”
David Parr, Managing Director of Griffiths added: “We are proud to see the Dyfi Bridge Scheme open to the public.
“The scheme has been a real technical challenge but is testament to our commitment to addressing the effects of climate change, enhancing community access to essential healthcare and education services, all whilst focussing on active travel solutions.
“Through collective efforts, we have not only reduced our carbon footprint from construction but also invested in future generations through nurturing talents through apprenticeships.”
This bridge started construction in 2021 after a year's delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.