So today I finally got a chance to walk across the Pont y Ddraig bridge in Rhyl, I missed the opening of it the other day, but the weather was nice today, so I made the most of it.
I do have to say that when the sections of the bridge were being lifted in to place some months ago, which I was lucky to witness, they look huge as they hovered above me as they were slowly positioned.
When you come to walk across Pont y Ddraig, you do have the feeling of how much of an expanse of water you are crossing as you move from one side of harbour toward the central “mast” and then across the section of the bridge to the other side.
With three commissioned pieces of art welcoming you to the bridge, these include Nobel prize-winning climate scientist, Sir John Houghton, lead singer of The Alarm, Mike Peters and Rhyl FC’s Don Spendlove who recorded 629 goals between the 1940s and 50s.
The opening of the £4.3m “Dragon’s Bridge“, a name chosen by Rhyl pupil Leon Jones, went ahead on Tuesday with a crowd of onlookers, photographers and news crew recording the moment that Pont y Ddraig was finally opened.
The work and completion of the bridge was delayed earlier in the year due to the theft of cables from the site.
Pont y Ddraig now offers a car-free alternative route for cyclists and walkers, allowing them to travel in safety rather than use the Fforyd Bridge that can be quite congested during peak season.
Mixed Feelings For Pont y Ddraig
Now while I was taking my photographs, the bridge was really busy and those that said it wouldn’t be used, must be eating their words now, but there still seems to be mixed feelings about the bridge.
I heard several good and mixed comments while on the bridge today, such as:
“What a waste of the council’s money”
“I don’t like it”
“What a waste of time”, as the guy walked across the bridge, yeah seems you’re using it though!
“It’s lovely to cross over, so calming”
Now one woman was crossing the bridge on her bicycle and she stopped in the middle to look across the harbour, so I asked her what her thoughts were about the bridge.
“I think it’s fantastic, it is far safer coming this way, rather than the blue bridge, car drivers don’t have a care in the world when they see a cyclist, this way we can cross safely and enjoy the lovely view across the water.”
The Start Of Rhyl Regeneration
The bridge is part of the Sustrans’ Connect2 project, which was awarded £50m by the Big Lottery Fund.
National Director of Sustrans Cymru, Jane Lorimer has said:
“Pont y Ddraig is a fantastic example of a route that will make walking and cycling the best option for everyday journeys and will provide a direct link between communities in the Rhyl area”
So lets face it folks, Rhyl is moving with the times and by the looks of the lovely new designed bridge, we could start getting some love back in our local town.
OK, over to you, what are your thoughts on the new bridge? Please share them with us in the comments below.