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Detailed progress update on the major White Bridge repair scheme

White Bridge progress update

The Council has provided a progress update on works to repair Berw Road Bridge (White Bridge) in Pontypridd, to secure the Listed structure’s future.  

The bridge was damaged by Storm Dennis, and in close consultation with Cadw an initial phase of work was undertaken in summer 2021 – to carry out scour repairs, and repairs to the pier and embankment. The Council was clear that this work would need to be followed by a larger phase of repairs, requiring White Bridge to close to motorists for a considerable period of time. 

Repair works completed on north and south spans

The main scheme started in summer 2022 and has made important progress to date. This has included completing below-deck concrete repairs to the north and south spans of the bridge, near Berw Road and The Parade respectively.  

The works removed existing sprayed concrete coating to reinforce the structure with steel and concrete, as well as further protection to prevent the steel from corrosion. The sprayed concrete coating was then reapplied, and these elements of the structure were painted. The access scaffold was removed in November 2022. 

Three phases of repairs to central span – phase one underway

Scaffolding the central span is difficult as it is constructed off the bridge itself, unlike the north/south spans where it was built from the ground. Loading restrictions mean that the scaffolding must be constructed in three phases.  

However, when the first phase got underway in October 2022, the extent of the required repairs was found to be far greater than expected from previous investigations. Progress has been made with phase one – the sprayed concrete coating is now removed, and areas where repairs are required have been identified and started. The work must be sequenced in terms of the location of the repairs and allowing for appropriate curing time, to ensure the bridge’s stability. 

This has been further complicated by the recent winter weather, as the repair material cannot be applied in very low temperatures. Phase one repairs are on course to be completed in mid-February 2023, which will be followed by reapplication of the sprayed concrete coating, painting, and removal of the access scaffolding.   

Outstanding works to the central span – phases two and three

The scaffolding will then need to be re-constructed to provide access for the next phase of work, which will require the bridge to be temporarily closed to pedestrians. Phases two and three will follow a similar course to phase one, and will be delivered by the appointed contractor Concrete Repairs Ltd. 

Due to the unforeseen additional repairs that have been identified in the construction phase, the overall scheme has now been extended. During phases two and three, pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained as much as possible, but some construction activity will require it to be completely closed (including the footway) to make safe progress. 

Unfortunately, the bridge will need to remain closed to vehicles until all work is complete. Current indications suggest it will be fully-reopened by late 2023. 

Additional scour protection works

Alongside the main bridge repairs, additional scour protection will take place to the north span pier – along with stabilisation of the embankment at The Parade, and repairs to bridge abutments and wingwalls. 

Pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained as far as possible, but some closures will be required due to the nature of the works. The Council will communicate the arrangements to residents at each stage of the scheme. 

The Council would like to thank residents and road users for their continued cooperation while these essential works are completed, to secure the Listed structure and to maintain the road and footway over the bridge into the future. 

Posted on 02/02/2023