Great Western Railway Usk bridge
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|Great Western Railway Usk bridge|
|Maintained by||Network Rail|
|Width||Quadruple standard-gauge (4 foot 8½ inch) track|
The original wooden structure was constructed by the South Wales Railway in 1848, but just as the final arch was being put into place on 31 May, a heated bolt ignited chemicals used to preserve the wood and a catastophic fire destroyed most of the structure.
To prevent a recurrence of the fire, the renowned railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel invented the now-common bow-string-shaped girders to replace the wood sections.
In 1888 the bridge was replaced with one made of stone, and by 1911 it had been widened to four lines.