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Current work


Summary (optional)
Old Colwyn coastal defence
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2021 - Rotary Way to Splash Point

£6.075M (Welsh Government Resilient Roads Fund) and £3M (Welsh Government Local Transport Fund)

This work targets the section of promenade most at risk of collapse - the eastern section between Rotary Way and Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches).

The work is expected to take 12 to 18 months, and will include:

  • Building a rock barricade to protect the sea wall and promenade (also known as a ‘revetment’)
  • Extending the existing culvert at Splash Point through the new barricade
  • Protecting the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water outfall beneath the new barricade
  • A fishing platform at Splash Point
  • Improved beach access structures
  • Improved access over existing rock groynes on the beach

Most of the improvements in this phase are to the sea-side of the existing sea wall, providing the first level of protection. In future phases, we plan to increase the height of the promenade and make improvements to the promenade.

Disruption and road closure

These are major engineering works which need large equipment including cranes, tracked excavators and dumpers. We can only do this safely by completely closing off this section of promenade. The road and the active travel route from Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches) to Rotary Way will be closed throughout the work. We apologise for the inconvenience to local residents, visitors, walkers and cyclists.

Diversion maps (PDF)

If you have concerns about this work, please contact Griffiths’ Public Liaison Officer Mandy Evans at mandy.evans@alungriffiths.co.uk or call 0330 041 2185.

Register on the contractor’s community website for regular updates:

community.alungriffiths.co.uk/oldcolwyncoastaldefence

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you doing?

We’re installing a rock barricade in front of the current promenade, from Rotary Way to the area known as Splash Point (at the Old Colwyn Arches end of the prom). This rock barricade will be built to the same height as the existing promenade level. When funding is available for future phases, we will increase the rock barricade to its final required height and raise the promenade 2m higher.

As part of the works, we will also add step access to the beach through the rocks and a fishing platform.

How does it work?

The rock barricade helps to protect the bottom of the sea wall from being undermined. It also breaks up the energy of incoming waves during storms, resulting in smaller waves and reducing the pressure on the Victorian seawall.

Why are you doing this work?

This work is essential to strengthen the Victorian sea defences at Old Colwyn promenade. This will protect the promenade, the national cycle route, the main sewer for Old Colwyn, and the A55 and railway bridges. Without this work, there is a high chance that after a bad storm the promenade could need to be closed indefinitely.

Who is paying for the work?

The £6.075m funding has come from the Welsh Government, through the Resilient Roads Fund.

Is this just a temporary fix?

No. These works are the first major phase in sea defence and promenade improvements on Old Colwyn promenade. This scheme has been designed to be permanent and fit in with later phases between Porth Eirias and Splash Point (at the Old Colwyn Arches end). Our plans for future phases include raising the level of the prom and the road.

Will we still be able to see the sea or access the beach?

Yes. During this phase of the work, the rock barricade will only be built up to the same height as the existing sea wall, to protect the most vulnerable part of the promenade. The promenade from Splash Point (by Colwyn Bay Arches) to Porth Eirias is 1.3km (0.8 miles) long, so you will still be able to see the sea and access the beach along the rest of the prom.

Why are you doing this work if you don’t have funding for the whole scheme?

We need to protect Old Colwyn promenade now. Otherwise, there is a high chance that after a bad storm the promenade could need to be closed indefinitely. We are continuing to look for funding for the future phases. Having detailed designs and costings will help with this and allow construction work to start more quickly when we receive funding.

Can pedestrians and cyclists still use the promenade?

No. It’s not possible for pedestrians and cyclists to use the closed section of promenade during the construction works because of the large construction vehicles and machinery. There is a pedestrian diversion route along the raised path at the back of the promenade, which will be open whenever possible. Cyclists and vehicles will be diverted along local roads. Access to the beach will be restricted where the work is taking place.

What will it look like? Can I see an artist’s impression?

The rock barricade will be similar to what is already in place at the eastern end of the prom, by Old Colwyn Arches. You can see plans and designs for the whole scheme on the Overall Scheme page.

Why can’t we have more sand?

We’ve been able to add sand to the beach on the more sheltered side, west of Porth Eirias. If we brought sand to the area between Porth Eirias and Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches) it would be lost at a much quicker rate than in the sheltered part of the bay, so this isn’t economically viable.

Where is the rock coming from for the barricade?

Most of the rock is planned to come from Penmaenmawr quarry, but we may use other sources further away if there is a shortfall.

Why has the rock barricade work stopped?

The Old Colwyn coastal defence work needs armour stone pieces weighing between 3 and 6 tonnes. The work involves phases of blasting and stockpiling at the quarry, and phases of placing the material on the beach. 

Before they started work, our contractor expected that their chosen quarry supplier could produce the quantity of stone needed for the project. This was based on historic records and outputs at the quarry. The initial blasting at the quarry in June yielded significantly less suitable rock than anticipated. The quarry cannot increase the frequency of blasting operations until all the other rock from the blasting is processed and sold to make room for another blast.

To reduce the impact of the lower yield from the chosen quarry, over the last few months our contractor has investigated using additional local sources within North Wales. Before this other rock can be used, it has to be rigorously tested and analysed to make sure it is robust and suitable for coastal defence. This testing has recently been completed and provided positive results.

Our contractor is arranging for the work to re-start as soon as possible. Machinery and equipment have been moved off the prom to keep costs down while our contractor waits for the next rock delivery. These will be moved back to site and transport arrangements made to harvest, process and deliver the rock from multiple quarries.

The work on this scheme will take 12 to 18 months, from its start in May 2021.

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