Canal Bridge 46, Sebastopol
The bridge you see over the canal today was constructed in 2018-19 and is actually the third bridge that has spanned the canal in this location. The photo shows the original Bridge 46.
The lane over the top of bridge has been known as Bevan’s Lane since the 19th Century.
A second bridge was built after the collapse of the original, but was demolished for construction of the houses west of the canal.
Unfortunately, once the third bridge was completed the draft depth for boats had been compromised, stopping boats passing under the bridge to reach the lower part of the canal. Without passing boats to keep vegetation in check, weeds in the canal grew rapidly, negatively affecting wildlife.
Concerned local residents formed the Bridge 46 to Five Locks Canal Group in September 2020 to raise awareness of this section of canal that had been left unnavigable. The group's campaigning led to the developers revisiting the bridge to return the canal to a navigable depth.
By October 2021, this remedial work was completed and navigation was restored. Boats are now able to travel all the way from Brecon to Five Locks. Since then, the group's volunteers have continued to improve the canal and towpath and are working with Torfaen County Borough Council and others on plans to reopen the canal to boats below Five Locks.