Contractors are being sought to carry out the rebuilding of the culvert at Castle Drive in Cimla, Neath, which collapsed due to a torrential rainstorm towards the end of last year.

Neath Port Talbot Council secured Welsh Government funding of £100,000 in December to design a replacement for the vital culvert and that work has now been completed.

Tenders for the construction work are about to be issued and after funding approval is obtained, a start on rebuilding the culvert is due to be made at the beginning of May this year.

The £100,000 Welsh Government funding has also been used for the design diversion of essential utility services which is required to cater for a larger culvert to be constructed.

The road at Castle Drive had to be closed both to vehicles and pedestrians for safety reasons after the collapse. The downstream section of the carriageway had been undermined by the washing away of a supporting embankment by the sheer force of flood water.

Following more investigations, the upstream pedestrian footway was reopened allowing a vital link for pupils to access Crynallt Infant School.

Biodiversity mitigation measures and tree removal work are planned to be undertaken during the next two weeks subject to weather conditions at the site.

A topographic survey of the area has been completed and the council has secured access onto private land so the appointed contractors can carry out the culvert reconstruction work.

Cllr Mike Harvey, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering said: “We have made a lot of progress in putting right the damage caused on a night when emergency services across South West Wales were ‘inundated’ with calls for help due to widespread flooding.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the road closure but we are progressing matters as quickly as we can and we would like to thank local residents for their patience.

“Restoring this culvert and roadway safely and robustly has been a complex engineering project and unfortunately that can take time so we are sorry for the delay but the results will be long lasting and that is important as it seems Climate Change is bringing with it increasingly damaging heavy rain and stormy weather.”

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