A NEW bridge in Gwynedd has been officially opened today (May 3).

The Bodefail Bridge, which crosses Afon Rhyd-hir river and forms part of the A497 between Nefyn and Pwllheli, replaces the old Bodfal Bridge.

It is the culmination of four years of work and an investment of up to £3million, which includes improvements to the road and surface water drainage works.

The bridge’s new name was revealed during the ceremony and is a combination of the names of the two villages closest to the bridge – Boduan and Efailnewydd.

The name was coined by Magi Griffiths, a Year Two pupil at Ysgol Pentreuchaf, who was crowned winner in a children’s competition.

Protecting and celebrating indigenous Welsh place names is a priority for Gwynedd Council and Meirion McIntyre Huws, its Welsh language promotion project officer, was on the panel that chose the name.

The old Bodfal Bridge – which dates back to the 19th century and is a Grade II listed structure – was closed in January 2019.


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Significant damage and deterioration to the foundations had become apparent following a storm.

Unfortunately, traffic had to be diverted eight miles to the Ffôr for a short period, while emergency work was carried out to install a temporary bridge and to repair the old bridge.

The possibility of widening the old bridge and make it suitable to the needs of today's traffic network was investigated.

But after discussions with Cadw and conservation officers, it became clear that this would not be viable and the long-term project of building a brand new bridge began.

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Cllr Berwyn Parry Jones, cabinet member for the highways, engineering and YGC (Gwynedd Consultancy) department, said: "The A497 is a strategically important road for the people who live and work in this part of Gwynedd, so it's great to be here on such an exciting and historic day.

“The new bridge and road are suitable for modern needs and will make life easier for local people to get from A to B.

“The old Bodfal Bridge has been protected as a recreational road for pedestrians and cyclists.

"I know that things have been difficult over the last few years while the work was going on and I am extremely grateful for the patience of the local community throughout this period.

"Cyngor Gwynedd is proud of the fact that we can provide design, engineering and project management services and offer local people specialist and professional careers in the field.

“The Bodefail Bridge development is a great example of this and the investment here in this part of the county has been worthwhile.

"I am also proud that the council's ecologists have worked with our engineers to ensure that the natural environment and fish habitats in the river have been protected throughout the work."

The ribbon was cut by Cllr Anwen Davies, the member for Buan and Efailnewydd ward.

She said: “It was a pleasure to be part of the ceremony today.

“The new bridge looks fantastic and I'm also glad that the old bridge will still be in place as it is of local historical importance and will still be available for people to walk or cycle, safely from by traffic of the main road.

"I'm sure local people will be glad that the new bridge is open and it will make life easier.

“There is great anticipation for the Llŷn ac Eifionydd National Eisteddfod, especially as the festival Maes will be just a stone's throw from the bridge.

“Everyone is pleased that it is ready for when people from all over Wales, and beyond, arrive here to the area.

"This is a popular area with tourists too so the new bridge will help us cope with the extra traffic of the busy holiday period, as people come here to enjoy the Llŷn countryside."

The new bridge is approximately 17 meters long and three meters high with a single arch.

It has been open to traffic for a few weeks but minor work still to be completed.

Griffiths were employed as main contractors on the project.

Liz Saville Roberts, Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP, said: “I was delighted to attend the official opening of Pont Bodefail, Boduan following the closure in 2019 of the historic Pont Bodfel as a result of significant structural damage.

“This substantial infrastructure investment in a new concrete arch road bridge will greatly help improve traffic flow on what is an extremely busy commuter route.

“Its timely completion ahead of the Llŷn National Eisteddfod being held nearby in August will significantly assist in the management of traffic to and from the Maes.

“I would like to put on record my thanks to all those who contributed to the planning and construction of the new bridge, including Gwynedd Council, Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy (YGC) and Griffiths civil engineers.

“Special congratulations go to Ysgol Pentreuchaf pupil Magi Griffith, who came up with a fitting name for the new bridge.

“I also welcome work to restore and safeguard the historic Pont Bodfel, with plans in place to develop the bridge for walkers and cyclists.”