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
THE OPENING CEREMONY
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...
...meet with the French cyclists coming from the south side to exchange flags.
Speeches follow. Jerry Brook - leader of Devon County Council and include....
And thats it. Now everyone can now use it!
11th June 2011 http://mydartmoorwalks.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/saturday-11th-june-gem-bridge-update.html
31st October 2011 http://mydartmoorwalks.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/monday-31st-october-yelverton.html