Local residents attempted to block the tree felling.
A Network Rail representative said: "In advance of the main bulk of works commencing, Network Rail is currently on-site undertaking work to remove trees and overgrown vegetation at the bridge. Trees along the existing bridge embankments have been removed in readiness for the demolition of the old structure and reconstruction of the new. We have also removed overgrown vegetation near to the lineside in order to establish a safe and accessible site compound for the team working on this major project.
"Although the works do not require the submission of a planning application we are working closely with Newport City Council and do not take the decision to remove trees lightly. However, in this instance, it was absolutely necessary as a large number of the trees formed part of the old structure, which is soon to be removed and rebuilt.