North West Wales

Pont Briwet: Rail line opening is delayed until September

Pont Briwet Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption The bridge closed in January over safety concerns

The new Pont Briwet bridge that will carry the Cambrian Coast railway line over the Dwyryd estuary will not open until September, say council officials.

Replacing the 154-year-old bridge in Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, is a "complex" operation, say engineers.

They had hoped the construction would be ready by early summer after it closed in January amid safety fears.

But Gwynedd Council has now confirmed trains will not start running over the new bridge until September.

The new structure is due to open to vehicles by Christmas.

The EU-funded project includes the installation of a rail bridge and a two-lane vehicle bridge along with a cycle path.

Rock armour has been put on the new embankments this month as storm protection.

The council said concrete decking will be poured in coming weeks allowing work on the railway line itself to start.

Other work will see Welsh Water replacing and relocating an old high-pressure water main to the new bridge.

Pont Briwet connects Llandecwyn and Penrhyndeudraeth.

Gwynedd council dropped plans to build a temporary bridge and installed an eight-mile (12 km) detour along the A496.

Gwynedd council cabinet member for environment Gareth Roberts said: "Whilst buses have been ferrying passengers between stations, it has obviously not been as convenient as the train, and we understand everyone's eagerness to be able to resume their rail journeys and experience the first stage of this exciting project.

"Work is also progressing well on the vehicle bridge, and we are still confident that cars will be using the new Pont Briwet by Christmas."

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