Mid Wales

Bridge repairs near Newtown could start in May

Repairs to a Grade II-listed bridge in Powys, closed for safety reasons after it was damaged by freezing weather, could start in May.

The crossing at Aberbechan, near Newtown, was shut on 2 January after cracks were spotted in the stone work.

Newtown councillor Russell George said Powys council planned to use money from its reserves to pay for the repairs, which could cost up to £1m.

There have been concerns that the bridge could be closed for a year.

Powys council has said the weather made the bridge on the B4389 dangerous.

Motorists had used the B-road to escape congestion in Newtown which has caused problems for months.

County councillor Mr George said: "I have had confirmation that the council will fund the money from its reserves. The cost to repair the bridge could be anything between £500,000 to £1m."

He said design work was due to start, and discussions would take place with the historic monuments agency Cadw and the Environment Agency to obtain permission for the work to begin.

He added: "The Environment Agency will not allow any works to begin until May which is obviously frustrating, but I'm keen that all the consents and contracts etc are completed so works can begin straight away."

Powys council said bridge would be closed for a "number of months".

A spokesman said: "Although a full assessment has yet to be carried out on Aberbechan bridge, the cost of repairing the structure could be from £500,000 and upwards.

"The assessment will determine how the council will repair the damage and provide an more accurate cost of those repairs.

"However, as it is a listed structure over a river, we will need to consult the Environment Agency and Cadw on any works that are required. At this stage, the bridge will be closed for a number of months."

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