Following an independent investigation by specialist engineers, a decision has been taken to permanently close the 154 year old Pont Briwet bridge over Afon Dwyryd on the grounds of public safety.
In the meantime, work is continuing on the construction of a £20 million replacement road and rail bridge that will link Penrhyndeudraeth and Llandecwyn. As part of this project, a temporary road bridge will open to traffic in May 2014 when work is completed on the new rail bridge. The temporary bridge will then remain open until work on the permanent replacement road bridge is completed.
Gwynedd Council and Network Rail are working together to develop a plan to implement a major improvement scheme at Pont Briwet.
HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction is the main contractor that will be carrying out the replacement of Pont Briwet and the upgrade of the approach roads to the north and south of the crossing.
Every effort will be made to minimise disturbance and inconvenience caused to the public during the project but it will sometimes be necessary to carry out a proportion of the works during unsocial hours - overnight and during weekends. Any noise generated by the works during these unsocial hours will be minimised as far as possible, by employing the best practical means that the operations permit. Site working hours will be 07.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday and 07.00 to 14.00 on Saturdays, weather dependant.
There will be a Public Liaison Officer based in the main site offices to the north of the bridge, who will be able to help with any queries or concerns. In the first instance though please contact the Project Co-ordinator on 01286 679448, firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of Community Open days will be held during the project and dates for these will be confirmed as soon as possible.
A “Meet the Buyer” day for local suppliers and businesses will be held on 18 April (date could change). Please see the local press for more information.
The scheme aims to create a robust inter-modal transport link, easing road congestion and significantly improving the reliability of rail services. As part of the proposed work, a new bridge will be installed to accommodate a dual carriageway, a renewed railway track, a cycle path and footpath.
Benefits of the proposed scheme are:
- Free transport links as toll charges will be waived by Network Rail
- Less road congestion with a two way carriageway
- Better transport links for heavier vehicles, i.e. ambulances, coaches or lorries, which now detour 8 miles through the village of Maentwrog
- More alternative transport options for the community and tourists with a new cycle path and footpath that link with the National Coastal Path and Welsh National Cycle Route 8
- A better performing railway as the renewed track will provide an increased linespeed of 40mph
- A more reliable and robust transport link on a new structure that will be less prone to flooding and designed to last for at least another century
The new rail bridge will be built first and work will be starting on this in May/June.
The railway will then be switched over to this and the old bridge demolished.
The new road bridge will then be built adjacent to the rail bridge.
The road will be kept open during the construction process. Traffic will continue to use the old bridge and then once this is demolished a temporary bridge will be provided. There will be short periods (as above) when it will be necessary to close the road over the bridge in order to carry out certain aspects of the work, however these will be kept to a minimum. It is expected that the work will be completed by 2015.
Work in Cambrian View, Penrhyndeudraeth
Improvement work here will consist of:
- Widening the carriageway for two-way traffic
- Providing a footway (on the northern side of the road, adjacent to the dwellings)
- Providing a lay-by adjacent to the footway
Some clearance work will be carried out here in May/June this year and then the main work will be carried out between July and November. Traffic management will be needed at various stages of the work and it is likely that the road will need to be closed completely for some processes.
About Pont Briwet
Pont Briwet was built in 1860 and is a Grade II listed wooden viaduct. The structure carries a single track rail line and a single lane toll road over the river between Llandecwyn and Penrhyndeudraeth railway station.
The current speed limit for rail traffic is 20mph and there is a 2-tonne weight limit for highway traffic. The imposed weight limit on the existing rail and road bridges, as well as the narrow width of the road, currently restricts the level of road traffic permitted to use the bridge.
Over the years Pont Briwet has been partly reconstructed and repaired, however, it is now near the end of its life and is becoming uneconomical to repair.
Compulsory Purchase Orders
As part of the Pont Briwet project land and rights have to be acquired to enable construction of the rail and road works using compulsory purchase powers.
This involves the use of two different Acts of Parliament, one for the rail works and one for the road works.
For the rail works the relevant legislation is the Transport and Works Act 1992 and the application for the Land Acquisition Order is being made by Network Rail. The documents in connection with this Order are detailed below and are available in pdf format by clicking the appropriate links below.
For the road works the relevant legislation is the Highways Act 1980 and the Compulsory Purchase Order has been made by Gwynedd Council. The documents in connection with this order are also available in pdf format by clicking the appropriate link below.
Transport and Works Order application documents
The documents in the attachment comprise of:
- Application letter
- Draft order
- Explanatory Memorandum
- Statement of aims
- Report summarising consultations undertaken
- Land plan
- Book of reference
- Funding statement