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Dumbarton Bridge

The oldest and furthest downstream of the bridges over the River Leven in West Dunbartonshire, the Dumbarton Bridge crosses the river in the town centre, a half-mile (1 km) before it enters the Firth of Clyde. Connecting West Bridgend with the High Street, this B-listed masonry construction dates from 1765 but has been much-modified subsequently. It existence brought about the expansion of Dumbarton to the west. It was built by local architect John Brown on the site of a ferry crossing, with the support of John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll (1693 - 1770), and represented the last link in the network of military roads around Scotland. It comprises five segmental arches with rounded cutwaters, with three spans of 18.9m (62 feet) and two spans of 12.8m (42 feet). The bridge has an overall length of 110m (360 feet). Problem of subsidence during construction were examined by the noted engineer John Smeaton (1724-94) who was able to suggest a solution. Footpaths were added to both sides of the bridge in 1884 under the supervision of W. R. Copeland of Glasgow, constructed from lattice-ironwork which was cantilevered out from the original deck. The bridge was strengthened in 1934, repaired in 1999 and was subject to a £1.75 million refurbishment 2001-05.


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