THE next steps for the Llanharan railway footbridge scheme now that the new bridge has been put in have been revealed.
The new footbridge was installed on the weekend of October 14/15 as part of works which local businesses previously said have caused “traffic chaos” in the village for around two years.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said its contractor is now finishing off the approaches to the foot ways and this should be completed next week allowing the footbridge to reopen.
Some temporary infill panels will be used to fill the gap between the two bridges until the permanent arrangements have been agreed with Network Rail.
The installation of a new pedestrian crossing on the A473 Bridgend Road (near High Street) will start on Monday, October 30 and continue for around four weeks.
This includes a new puffin crossing with traffic signals, footway alterations, road resurfacing and road markings. Some drainage repairs will also be carried out in advance of the road resurfacing.
The crossing will need to be built under four-way traffic lights due to the junctions with Hillside Avenue and Danygraig Road, but to minimise disruption the traffic signals will only be in operation during off-peak times (after 9:30am and removed from the highway by 3pm) to avoid peak hour traffic.
A full weekend road closure will be required to resurface the road from the junction with Hillside Avenue (south to the footbridge) with some additional resurfacing to the first 30 metres of Chapel Road.
A diversion route will be put in place and a shuttle bus service will be put on for local bus operators where effected with more details to be revealed soon.
The council said it would once again like to thank residents for their cooperation and patience with this scheme.
Previously, business owners in Llanharan expressed their frustration at temporary traffic lights causing traffic to back up down the A473 entering the village and also up Hillside Avenue during peak times. Residents said they were initially told it would take months but the works have lasted about two years.
In August, the council said the footbridge scheme has been challenging and more recently, work undertaken by the contractor was defective with a re-design needed for piles on the south support to the bridge and a solution was needed that was agreed by all parties. The council stressed at the time that the continuing delays were “unacceptable” and apologised for the ongoing inconvenience the scheme caused to residents.