After three years of construction and more than 70 years after the scheme was originally proposed, Newtown's bypass is finally open.

Transport Minister Ken Skates AM made Mid Wales history at midday on Thursday, February 14, cutting the ribbon on the long-awaited scheme, before construction workers on the project were allowed to be the first to drive on the new road after it's official opening.

Addressing a crowd of around two hundred assembled dignitaries and members of the media, Mr Skates said he was "delighted" to open the £90 million scheme ahead of schedule today.

"The degree of support for this bypass demonstrates just how much it was needed for Newtown and Mid Wales, and this is the single biggest investment in infrastructure anywhere in the region," he said.

"Almost £11 million has been spent on local people including those apprentices who have been employed on the project.

"I want to pay particular thanks to Alun Griffiths Construction who have delivered ahead of schedule and on budget which is quite an incredible achievement given the challenge of the scheme."

Ahead of an official opening ceremony near the Llanidloes Road end of the new road, Mr Skates also added that consultations were taking place on the naming of the various bridges and roundabouts on the scheme.

"In terms of the value to the place that we stand in the fact that we are already consulting on bridge names and roundabout names shows how important a piece of infrastructure of this nature can be in enhancing the pride and identity of a place and I look forward to further consultation taking place rapidly and for the many pieces of infrastructure along the route to be formally named."

The road is now formally open to traffic and can be driven along its entire length, although landscaping works are expected to continue for the next six months.

County Times: Transport Minister Ken Skates AM unveils a plaque on Newtown's new bypass today (Phil Blagg/County Times)Transport Minister Ken Skates AM unveils a plaque on Newtown's new bypass today (Phil Blagg/County Times)

Project Manager Nick Cleary told guests that over 2.5 million tonnes of earth and rock had been moved to create the bypass, which has created eleven new bridge structures and five new roundabouts along its 6.5km length, and has also seen 80,000 plans and over 200 trees planted as part of environmental works for the scheme.

He also said 17,000 vehicles were expected to use the new road every day, which would reduce Heavy Goods traffic through the town by up to 90%.

"We've got 5 roundabouts on the bypass which provide better access to the business areas, so there'll be no need to go through the town.

"Over 1,000 people have been involved on site and many more off-site and I just want to thank all the workforce, all the suppliers, all the partners that have been involved in the scheme for making it such a success.

"We aimed to deliver ahead of time, it was one of our strategies but it took hard work, determination, collaboration and a bit of luck to actually achieve that.

"It's great to see how quickly it's come together because for the first two years people couldn't really see the plan. We knew the plan because we're experienced with these types of projects, and people were asking us 'why are you doing this?' and saying 'We can't see how the road's going to come together'.

"It's come together really quick as these projects do and it's brilliant to see."