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You are here: Home > Transport and Streets > Roads, Highways, Pavements > Road maintenance and improvement schemes

Pont Briwet

Pont Briwet
Pont Briwet

Update (4.11.14)
We are pleased to confirm that the completion of the transfer of services from the old bridge is now complete and that the demolition of the old bridge has begun.

The proximity of the railway line dictates the way that the structure will be demolished, which will be as follows:

  1. Firstly the demolition contractor will unbolt the straps and bolts retaining the rails and weigh beams etc.  They will be cut to transportable lengths and lifted onto causeway.
  2. Cut remaining rails, weigh beams and old water pipe into transportable lengths and lift onto causeway.
  3. Cut road superstructure into transportable lengths and lift onto causeway.
  4. Cut rail superstructure into transportable lengths and lift onto causeway.
  5. Unbolt straps and bolts holding the crosshead beams and trestle bracing substructure together. Lift off crosshead beams and trestle bracing onto causeway.
  6. Extract vertical timber piles and lift onto causeway.
  7. All the demolished material will be removed from site.

The contractors anticipate that the demolition will take approximately four weeks to complete.


Works to Date
The railbridge is open but the road bridge will remain closed for vehicles and pedestrians until June 2015


The Project
Gwynedd Council and Network Rail are working together to replace the existing Pont Briwet which spans the Afon Dwyryd near Penrhyndeudraeth in Gwynedd. This exciting project, which is now scheduled for completion in June 2015, will provide a modern, safe and sustainable structure including a railway, a two-lane road, a cycle/footpath as well as improvements to the narrow approach roads. The £20m project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, administered by the Welsh Government, as well as TraCC, Network Rail and Gwynedd Council.

The 1860’s, grade II listed, timber bridge was part of the Cambrian Coast railway line, which links with the Cambrian Line at Dovey Junction. A single lane, privately owned toll road ran adjacent to the railway.  Both were in a very poor state of repair and a 2 tonne weight limit on the road bridge meant that larger vehicles had to take an eight mile detour around Maentwrog.

Main contractors HOCHTIEF (UK) CONSTRUCTION were appointed in February 2013 to carry out this challenging project. The new crossing will ensure that the vital link between North and South Gwynedd is maintained.

About Pont Briwet
Pont Briwet was built in 1860 and was a Grade II listed wooden viaduct. The structure carried a single track rail line and a single lane private toll road over the river between Llandecwyn and Penrhyndeudraeth railway station.

The speed limit for rail traffic was 20mph and there was a 2-tonne weight limit for highway traffic. The imposed weight limit on the old rail and road bridges, as well as the narrow width of the road, restricted the level of road traffic permitted to use the bridge and there was no provision for pedestrians.

Over the years Pont Briwet was partly reconstructed and repaired, however, by the time work on the new scheme started it was reaching the end of its life and was in a very bad state of repair.

Benefits of the new scheme are:

  • Free transport links as toll charges will be waived
  • 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


October newsletterpdf (pdf, 34k)
August newsletterpdf (pdf, 34k)
June newsletterpdf (pdf, 19k)
Pont Briwet NonTechnical Summarypdf (pdf, 1.68Mb)

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Last updated: 04/11/2014

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