Pont Briwet

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Pont Briwet
Llandecwyn railway station MMB 01.jpg
Pont Briwet, looking north from Llandecwyn
Carries Road and Railway (Cambrian Coast railway)
Crosses River Dwyryd
Locale Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd North Wales
Maintained by Private
Width Single 10 feet (3.0 m) roadway, plus single standard-gauge (4 foot 8½ inch) railway track

Pont Briwet was a Grade II listed wooden bridge which crosses the River Dwyryd, near Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd in North Wales. It has been demolished and a replacement is under construction.

History[edit]

Built by the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway and opened by Cambrian Railways in 1867, the privately owned toll road structure carries both the Cambrian Coast railway and a single-track road south to Harlech.

Due to its age and weight restrictions, the roadway section only carried cars, excluding lorries and ambulances. This resulted in an extended 8 miles (13 km) journey to access the Harlech road from Penrhyndeudraeth.[1]

Replacement[edit]

In July 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government announced a £20 million joint project with Network Rail to replace the existing bridge with a new structure by 2013. The old bridge was to have been retained due to its listed structure, and transformed into a pedestrian walkway,[1] but approval was granted for its demolition in February 2012.[2]

The new bridge is planned to carry two lanes of road traffic and a single track railway, and is expected to be fully opened in 2015.[3] It was hoped that, apart from a four week period when power cables had to be moved, the old viaduct could remain open throughout the works.[4]

Construction work began in March 2013. However, in November 2013 the existing wooden bridge was found to have been affected by the piling work for the new bridge, and was declared structurally unsafe and closed in December 2013. This necessitated a diversion via Maentwrog for road users, and caused rail services to terminate at Harlech, closing the 22 miles (35 km) line to Pwllheli via Porthmadog.[5] A new temporary road bridge was due to be in place by Spring 2014, but this plan was shelved by Gwynedd Council in favour of a controlled traffic convoy system[clarification needed] on the A496 between Maentwrog and Llandecwyn because of safety fears due to increased traffic on the A496.[6][7]

The new viaduct has now been opened to rail traffic (services between Harlech & Pwllheli recommencing on 1 September 2014, after a gap for 9 months[8]), but work on the parallel roadway has been delayed by problems relocating electricity cables & a water main that currently use the old bridge and so it is not now expected to be fully completed until spring 2015.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 52°55′27″N 4°03′20″W / 52.924169°N 4.055672°W / 52.924169; -4.055672