Historical bridge reopened to the public following £1.9 million investment
6 June 2023
Welsh Water and partners are pleased to announce the reopening of an historic bridge that spans the picturesque River Conwy, following extensive refurbishment work. The bridge, which connects Dolgarrog village to the local train station and beyond, has opened following a substantial £1.9 million investment.
The Dolgarrog Pipe Bridge serves as a crucial link for the Conwy Valley, carrying two water pipes that supply drinking water to over 43,000 local homes and businesses. Furthermore, it has long served as a cherished walkway for numerous residents, connecting Dolgarrog village to nearby communities. The temporary closure of the bridge in January 2021 was prompted by significant concerns about the bridge's condition. The owners of the bridge Welsh Water, committed to collaborate with local stakeholders and partners to restore the structure's safety to enable it to reopen.
Work to strengthen, repair, and improve the bridge started in May 2022 and was completed earlier this month. Work on this challenging project had to coincide with low water levels in the river along with hanging scaffolding for strengthening work under the bridge.
The £1.2 million investment by Welsh Water along with a £735,000 Welsh Government grant for Conwy County Borough Council has ensured that the bridge will also in the future form part of an active travel route.
Arwel Jones, Welsh Water’s Head of Engineering, Commissioning & Handover said; "Following the closure of the bridge in 2021, we have worked closely with our partners to develop a bridge that can serve as a shared space for both cyclists and pedestrians while preserving and maintaining our critical infrastructure. I am thrilled that our design accomplishes both objectives, enabling us to reopen the bridge to the public.
“This substantial investment in the bridge demonstrates our commitment as a company to reinvest directly for the benefit of our customers and local communities. I am pleased that our collaboration with local partners will bring widespread benefits and opportunities to the local area.”
Cllr Goronwy Edwards, Cabinet Member for Environment, Roads and Facilities – Infrastructure said: “We are happy to be working with Welsh Water on improving this walking and cycling route, which provides an important integrated transport link to the local community and wider area. The bridge improvements will mean people can choose to travel sustainably and not have to rely on motor vehicles.”
To mark the official reopening, an event was held at the bridge on Friday, May 26th with the ribbon being cut by local Member of the Senedd, Janet Finch-Saunders. The event was attended by local stakeholders and partners who have played a role in ensuring the bridge has been reopened.
Having cut the ribbon, Janet Finch-Saunders said; “Following being closed for just over two years, it is great to see this vital link between Dolgarrog and the Conwy Valley and beyond, back open to the public. Following collaboration work between Welsh Water, Conwy County Borough Council, Transport for Wales and others, I am pleased that we now have a bridge that can be enjoyed by the local residents as well as tourist visiting the area.”
Also present at the event were pupils from the local school, Ysgol Dyffryn yr Enfys who, through the donation of water pipes by Welsh Water have created a 19 foot dragon. According to local legend Dolgarrog was named after Garrog, a mythical flying dragon that roamed the area. The dragon has been created as part of the village’s preparation work for Gwŷl Garrog to be held in the village in September.