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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Work under way on new Pont Briwet bridge

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Engineers are to due to start work on a replacement Pont Briwet bridge over the Afon Dwyryd river.

The £20 million project will see the 150-year-old wooden viaduct replaced by contractors HOCHTIEF.

The new crossing is funded with over £9 million from the European Regional Development Fund, administered by the Welsh Government, as well as funding from Network Rail, Gwynedd Council, and the mid Wales transport consortium TraCC.

Gwynedd Councilʼs cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Gareth Roberts, said: “I am delighted that work is starting on this hugely important project for the Meirionnydd area of the county.

“Whilst the old Pont Briwet has served the area well for almost 150 years, the bridge has seen better days and is no longer suitable for modern transport requirements. The fact is that when the structure was built, it was not intended to transport the volume of traffic it now carries every day.

“When it opens in 2015, the new Pont Briwet will provide a vital link for the economic and social prosperity of the area and deliver shorter and more convenient journeys for members of the public and local businesses.”

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Wales route managing director, said: “This scheme joins a number of other rail improvement projects in North Wales that will help deliver better journeys and boost economic growth in the area.

“The work at Pont Briwet bridge will make it easier to get to travel between Harlech, Penryndeudraeth and Porthmadog and we would like to thank people for their patience whilst this important work is carried out.”

The new structure will continue to carry a single track railway but will also include a new two-lane public highway and cycle route rather than the present one-lane route. At present, heavier and larger vehicles have to travel an additional eight miles. However, when the new Pont Briwet opens, it will provide a convenient crossing for trains, vehicles of all sizes, bicycles and pedestrians.

Work is currently being undertaken to clear vegetation from the approach roads to the existing bridge.The project will include a temporary bridge to ease travelling for residents during the two-year construction period.

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