Two local schoolchildren – Sion Owen Lloyd-Morris from Ysgol Cefn Coch, Penrhyndeudraeth and Sioned Evans from Ysgol Talsarnau – cut the ribbon to officially open Pont Briwet today.
The children took full advantage of the new rail and road bridge with some arriving by train, others walking and cycling on the new footway/cycle path.
A number of people then took the opportunity to walk across the new EU-funded bridge before it was opened for vehicles.
The new Pont Briwet scheme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, as well as funding from Network Rail, Welsh Government local transport grants allocated to TraCC the mid Wales transportation consortium, and Gwynedd Council.
At the official opening of the new bridge, which replaced the old 150-year-old Pont Briwet across the Dwyryd estuary, the children were thanked by the Chairman of Gwynedd Council, Councillor Dilwyn Morgan.
He said: “We’re very pleased that this long-awaited day is now here when local communities can once again feel connected. The disruption that the closure of the bridge has caused to the local communities during the construction period has really brought home the importance of this bridge to this area, and shows how essential it was to obtain the substantial investment required to replace the old, sub-standard, original bridge. The new rail and road bridge will be an asset to this area for many years to come.”
Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for transport, Councillor Dafydd Meurig added: “I am delighted to see the new £20 million Pont Briwet fully open.
“Whilst we fully appreciate that the construction has been a challenging period for local residents and businesses we are pleased that the project has led to significant investment in the local economy with a number of local companies employed on various aspects of the construction. With the new bridge now in place, it will undoubtedly become a vital link to the local area and provide a vital link for this area of Meirionnydd.
“Whilst the rail bridge was opened in September 2014, there is now also a two-way carriageway which replaces the old, single lane toll road. Of course, previously there was no safe crossing for pedestrians or cyclists, but the new footway and cycle path links into the All Wales Coast path and provides stunning views of the Dwyryd Estuary and surrounding mountains.”