The 154-year old Barmouth viaduct in Gwynedd, North Wales, is set to close this September for 13 weeks, as the ongoing maintenance work is finally completed.
The Barmouth viaduct in Gwynedd, North Wales, is set to close this autumn for 13 weeks, as the ongoing maintenance work is finally completed. New Civil Engineer reports that the 154 year old bridge will close between 2 September and 24 November for the final stage of the strengthening works.
The Grade II* listed wooden bridge was constructed to take the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway over the Mawddach Estuary between Fairbourne and Barmouth. It opened in 1867 and consists of 113 timber spans stretching almost half a mile. It is supported by a series of iron columns of eight feet in diameter that are sunk 120m below sea level.
The bridge had to be closed for almost five and a half years in 1980 to repair extensive woodworm damage. The current repair works have involved replacing rotten timber beams and reconstructing the metal sections on a like for like basis, to preserve the original appearance of the structure.
Network Rail Wales & Borders interim route director Nick Millington said: “We are excited to begin work on the final phase of restoring this iconic viaduct. There is no other like it in Britain, so we have meticulously and carefully brought this structure back to life so it can serve passengers for future generations.”
He added: “We would like to thank the local community for their support and patience while we have and continue to safely carry out this project. We know that there is never a perfect time to close the railway, but we are happy that we have managed to do so in the least disruptive way – for the community and the tourism that means so much to Barmouth.”
The renovation scheme has been ongoing since 2020, and will now be entering the final stages. The bridge is the oldest timber viaduct in the UK, and Network Rail expect the current improvements to extend its lifespan by 60 years.
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