New Machynlleth Dyfi bridge moves a step closer
Plans to replace a 200-year-old Grade II-listed, flood-hit bridge between Powys and Gwynedd have moved a step closer.
A new crossing upstream of the Dyfi bridge at Machynlleth will be the subject of a feasibility study paid for by the Welsh government.
The move was revealed in a letter to Mid and West Wales AM William Powell.
Transport Minister Edwina Hart also confirmed the new crossing would not include a bypass of Machynlleth.
Options had included raising the road or a new bridge down stream of the existing crossing.
Campaigners in Machynlleth have long complained that residents face a 20-mile detour when Dyfi bridge is closed by floods or damaged by vehicles.'Positive boost'
The crossing on the A487 has been repeatedly damaged over the years.
Mr Powell said: "I am very pleased to see that progress is being made towards a new Dyfi Bridge.
"I am glad a number of local business leaders' concerns have been taken on board by the minister, and that plans for a new bridge will not include a bypass of Machynlleth.
"The minister has undertaken to keep me informed of the new bridge's progress over the coming months and I remain committed to working with the Welsh government to ensure that a new bridge is built as soon as possible."
Part of a side wall of the bridge was knocked down by a lorry in 2010 forcing the bridge to be closed to trucks for several weeks.
It has also been shut on many occasions during periods of heavy rain.
In 2011, the South Meirionnydd Older People's Forum collected more than 3,200 signatures for a petition about the controversial crossing which was handed to AMs.
Michael Williams, a Powys county councillor for Machynlleth, said the Dyfi bridge was an essential link between north Wales and Aberystwyth.
He added: "While we know there isn't a bottomless pit of money available we in the Machynlleth and Dyfi Valley area feel that a new bridge is essential for local people, the local economy and the positive boost it would give to both tourism and business."