Glyn Bends, Ty Nant
|Ty Nant Cutting|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Construction Start Date|
The Glyn Bends were located on the A5 near Ty Nant in North Wales. In 1994 work started to bypass this section of the A5 with a new cutting to the North, which opened in 1996.
Thomas Telford constructed the original route between London and Holyhead in 1819, including this section of what became the main A5 trunk route alongside the Afon Ceirw. The original route was only 6 metres wide with very sharp bends, hugging the mountainous terrain. By 1989, upon inspection of the route, concerns were raised regarding the stability of the rocks alongside the route and in some areas the retaining walls had started to fail.
The Glyn Bends were identified in the 1970s as a priority for improvement, due to the narrowness of the route and considerable lack of forward visibility. It was decided that a northern route bypassing the section would be preferable. Construction started in 1994 to create a 31 metre deep cutting through the hillside, and to the south the route was on an embankment 18 metres high. Because of the gradient involved a crawler lane was constructed in the Holyhead direction. 255,000 cubic metres of rock were removed to create the cutting.
During blasting periods the A5 was closed to traffic, though this was for never more than twenty minutes at a time. The new route opened to traffic in 1996, with much of the old route being abandoned and gated.
On the 24th July 1996, a plaque was unveiled on the abandoned route by Mr Gwilym Jones MP, commemorating completion of the Ty Nant upgrade.
The left hand plaque reads "Mr Gwilym Jones MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales unveiled this plaque on 24 July 1996 to commemorate the completion of the A5 Ty Nant to Dinmael improvement"
The right hand plaque reads "At this place George Borrow stood in 1854 and enjoyed ' ....one of the wildest and most beautiful scenes imaginable....'"
From 15 August 2005, temporary traffic lights were installed through the cutting because of work to stabilise the rock face. By 9pm Friday 27 May 2006, just before the bank holiday weekend, the A5 was fully closed through the cutting due to the concerns of rock stability. Plans were set in motion to reopen the former Glyn Bends route to light traffic, though needing work itself, having been closed to traffic for 10 years. The local councillor, Alun Pugh said "There could have been a catastrophic failure at any time and you would literally get hundreds of tonnes of rock coming all over the road and there could have been multiple fatalities so I don't think Andrew Davies had any choice whatsoever." Following agreements with landowners, the old route was finally reopened on Friday 16 June 2006 using temporary traffic lights with a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes. The cutting was reopened in July 2007 but work was not complete until the following October.
The map below shows the road layout during 2006 when traffic was diverted onto the old route to allow for repairs in the cutting. The red line highlights Telford's route.
- 27 May 2006 Old road plan to ease A5 problems
- 9 June 2006 Land deal to ease road problems
- 16 June 2006 A5 reopens after rock face work
- 22 January 2009 Firm sued for £6.6m road repair
SABRE forum topics
- The London-Holyhead Trunk Road (A5) (Ty-nant to Dinmael) Order 1991
- PB Network - Engineering and Aesthetics for the A5 Glyn Bends Improvement in Wales
- Flickr - A5 Wales Corwen Ty Nant Closure
This page was Article of the Month for June 2009