Upgrade of Talybont-on-Usk Drawbridge

The drawbridge at Talybont-on-Usk is one of our canal’s iconic features. You may have seen that recently the bridge was closed for 3 days for resurfacing.

The bridge, which is owned and operated by the Canal and River Trust (CRT), is a landmark in Talybont and provides access to a number of houses, farms and onwards to Talybont reservoir. It has had a poor reputation in the past for reliability with boaters and locals.

As part of the resurfacing closure one of our MBACT members was lucky enough to have a small tour. The old small green control box has been replaced by a walk-in control room with new hydraulics and a computerised control system. The control system ensures that all parts of the bridge, gates and safety barriers are all in the correct position before the bridge is opened or closed. If something goes awry then the opening or closing just stops. The control system was programmed by CRT specifically for this bridge.

If something is wrong with the bridge then CRT engineers can connect to the bridge remotely and check and rectify many errors. Obviously if a bridge sensor detects that a key component is in the wrong position then a visit by a CRT engineer may be required.

The control system means that the bridge can be easily opened or closed by boaters by inserting a BWB key and pressing and holding a single button. The opening or closure can be easily stopped by releasing the button, or by pressing an emergency stop button.

The bridge’s new road surface was installed by contractors working for CRT, with Powys Council Highways also involved to ensure that the bridge road surface met their specification.

The new surface is high-grip, with wooden rails to ensure that vehicles keep away from the sides of the bridge.

MBACT would like to applaud and compliment CRT on their significant investment in the the new control room, control system and bridge surface which should benefit boaters, car drivers and pedestrians in the village for many years to come.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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