Expensive price tag for historic Wrexham bridge repairs

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A LISTED bridge has damaged by drivers for the third time in about six months.

The Bont Bridge at Pontcysyllte is a protected historic structure but after a lorry smashed into its wall part of the parapet is now lying at the bottom of the river.

The bridge, which connects Froncysyllte and Trevor, had to be closed to vehicles and pedestrians, and the only alternate route is a seven mile round trip.

It is thought the driver of the vehicle misjudged the width of the bridge, which at under seven foot wide is narrower than an average road.

But according to Llangollen Rural councillor Pat Jeffares, in the past the drivers have not stopped to report the incident.

Cllr Jeffares said: “There is already a sign in place to warn that the road thins and new signage is currently being organised to make it even clearer, but people who don’t know the area just follow their satnav and don’t realise.

“It’s only about six foot six wide and you’re supposed to stop at either end.

“At least the driver had the decency to stop and report the incident this time, in the past they haven’t bothered.”

This is now the third incident of its kind since late summer and Cllr Jeffares is worried about the inconvenience to travellers and the cost of repairing the bridge which, as a listed structure, is protected under the CADW historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government.

He added: “This bridge is very, very important to the area, especially as part of the World Heritage Site, and it’s going to be really expensive to repair.

“Divers will have to retrieve the missing stones from the river because new ones can’t be used according to CADW.

“But the flow’s very high at the moment and it will be a while before it is safe enough to go in.”

A spokesman for Wrexham County Borough Council said: “It is the third time the bridge has been damaged since late summer last year.”

The bridge was closed to vehicles and pedestrians on safety grounds due to damage to one of the parapets.

The council added yesterday that the bridge is now open to pedestrians and cyclists, and they hopes the bridge will be open to vehicles on Thursday.

See full story in the Leader

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