Wednesday 5th September Gem Bridge and Grenofen Tunnel Open


At last,  on a beautiful sunny day, after nearly two years of working the new bridge and tunnel are now open.

First an easy early bicycle ride (living on the cycle path and having watched the many lorries go past) to get a few pictures. The new bridge is 79 feet above the river but 52 feet lower than the original bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel so a cutting was built below the line of the original railway track.  Just below this is...

...the magnificent new Gem Bridge

Looking back from the other side.

The picnic area designed by local school children using granite from Brunel's original bridge.

The decking leading around to....

... the new cycle path.

The tunnel was built in 1859 and unused for the last 50 years.  My understanding is that no structural work was necessary on the tunnel itself. The tunnel goes under the main A386 by The Halfway House pub and is about 400 yards long.

Low level lights have been added and a new tarmac track.

Looking back from the Tavistock side.

A new bridge built to go over the farmers track.

The cycle path only follows the original railway line for a short distance and this cutting going left has been built - the original railway line goes straight on.

Through the fields and on to...

Anderton Lane by Tiddy Brook Meadows


A large crowd of local dignatories and members of the public gather by the picnic area.

The British cyclists enter the bridge from the north side and... with the French cyclists coming from the south side to exchange flags.

Speeches follow. Jerry Brook - leader of Devon County Council and include....

a superb speech by Angela Rippon who lived in Gem Cottage  (just above the the bridge) for 25 years.

Jill and Jincks

 And thats it. Now everyone can now use it!

See also

11th June 2011

31st October 2011

1 comment:

  1. A group of us paddled the Walkham yesterday 19/12/13 and from the river the bridge looks fantastic, although probably not the best river to spend too much time looking up at a bridge (too many deadly trees in the river). Next time I'm around it could be on my bike.