Officials from Newport and Caerphilly came together last week to re-open a historic bridge which links the two areas.
The Iron Bridge, near Draethen, was constructed over the River Rhymney in 1829, but it had to be closed to the public in 2008 because of its deteriorating condition.
However, following a programme of restoration work carried out by Newport City Council and Caerphilly County Borough Council with grant funding from CADW, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Countryside Council for Wales, the bridge has now re-opened and can once again be enjoyed by communities on both sides of the river.
It forms part of the rights of way network linking Newport and Caerphilly.
Newport’s Mayor Councillor Margaret Cornelious, who walked from the city’s side of the bridge, said: “For almost two centuries, people used this bridge to cross the river until it sadly had to close because of damage to the structure. I am extremely pleased that it has been restored to its former glory and I hope it will be enjoyed by walkers for many generations to come.”
Cllr Ron Davies, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning joined the Mayor Cllr Vera Jenkins at the unveiling.
He said: “I am delighted to see this magnificent structure restored to its former glory once more. The bridge’s restoration has generated a lot of local interest and means a great deal to communities on both sides of the river.”
The 16-metre span cast iron bridge was built on the estate of Lord Tredegar who commissioned it to provide access for horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians from Ruperra Castle to and from the church at Lower Machen and the surrounding area.
It forms part of a circular walk which takes in other places of interest including Ruperra Castle, St Michael and All Angels, Plas Machen and Craig Ruperra summer house.