Maerdy Mountain Road to close this summer for repairs to nearby slope

The Maerdy mountain road will close this summer so the council can repair a section of the slope below the highway. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has confirmed there will need to be a road closure of the A4233 between Aberdare and Maerdy this summer due to the third phase of ongoing works so the route can continue to be used in the future. The road will close between Graig Place in Aberdare and Station Road in Maerdy from Monday, July 4, to Monday, September 5. The work will take place at the hillside near the hairpins on the Aberdare side of the route.

An alternative route for motorists is via the A4233, A4058 to Pontypridd, A470 and A4059 to Aberdare – or this route in reverse order, and will be signposted. The council said this is part of the ongoing effort to mitigate structural issues on the mountainside, exacerbated by unprecedented weather during Storm Dennis and other winter storms. Read more:The councillor who came back from the dead and those who saved him

This summer’s work programme will rectify significant scour damage to the hillside at the hairpins on the Aberdare side of the route. It will include anchoring the slope below the highway as well as installing a structure to maintain the surface. The vehicle barrier at the side of the road will need to be removed for this work, with specialist systems to access the slope being used.

The council said the characteristics of the road and topography of the mountain route mean it is difficult to minimise disruption. The council said the safety of both the workforce and road users is another key consideration and that the road is too narrow to safely maintain live moving traffic while the work is ongoing. With the vehicle barrier also being removed to enable the work, the council said it would be unsafe for vehicles to travel on this section of the route.

It added that work is being carried out this summer when the road is likely to be less busy during peak travel periods, while disruption to home to school transport is avoided. The council said the work cannot be carried out overnight due to very difficult access conditions at the exposed and elevated site.

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Other key considerations include the safety of the workforce and the specialist nature of the scheme which would make it very difficult to make sufficient progress if the work took place at night, the council added. The council is currently finalising alternative bus arrangements for the work period.

It said: “Our steep mountain roads are in a constant battle for survival against the elements, and Storm Dennis provided a stark reminder of the difficulties roads such as the A4233 on Maerdy Mountain must endure. If it wasn’t for the council’s significant maintenance of the route in recent years, the nature of the damage sustained in Storm Dennis would have closed the road indefinitely. “To avoid an incident in the future that could cause a long-term closure, phases of work to stabilise the hillside and protect the road will need to happen over several years.

While repair or maintenance works are disruptive for a period of time, they are also the difference between the road being available and open into the future or not.”

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