Drivers to face delays as £1m roadworks start
DISTRUPTION is likely to be caused for motorists when diversions and speed limits are put in place so that work on a major Neath road can be carried out.
Essential maintenance costing £1 million is necessary to refurbish the A474 Southern Link bridges between the A465 Interchange at Saltings roundabout and Stockhams corner.
The vital work is now due, with upgrades having last been made in 1994.
The council said repairs had been scheduled to minimise disruption, with contractors set to start immediately after the Neath Fair on Monday. But thousands of vehicles use the route every day over both the River Neath and the main railway lines.
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Diversions will be put in place to enable the work to be carried out and a 30mph speed limit will apply on the dual carriageway for the period of the scheme.
Normal working hours will be 8am to 6pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
The work is planned to be completed in 12 weeks, finishing by Monday, December 10.
Head of engineering and transport for Neath Port Talbot Council, David Griffiths, said: "This work forms part of a major programme of highways improvements within Neath Port Talbot. The funding we have secured will ensure that our local transport networks are able to meet both the current and future needs of our communities.
"We appreciate that this will cause some inconvenience, but hope that residents and road users will understand the need for this work to take place.
"Completing this maintenance means that Neath will remain served by a well-connected, attractive and modern gateway into the town."
Chamber of trade chairman Andrew Lodwig, who is a town centre taxi driver, said: "It is going to cause a bit of disruption. But I think the work needs to be done so there is nothing we can oppose.
"I hope they stick to their dates as it may effect the town if it goes on longer."
The two major structures to be refurbished are the Neath River Bridge and Milland Road Viaduct. The work required includes new drainage, waterproofing systems, kerbs, joints, surfacing of the bridge deck and resurfacing of the carriageway.
The central reserve barrier and lighting system for the bridges will also be renewed and improved.
The contractors undertaking the work are Alun Griffiths Ltd, of Abergavenny.
The £1 million upgrade is part of the £2.3 million funding made available through the Local Government Borrowing Initiative enabled by Welsh Government for 2012/13.