What a way to close the gap…the iconic new bascule bridge at Rhyl Harbour opened in autumn 2013.
Its twin 32 metre decks span the River Clwyd – until a boat needs to sail past. They rise into the air as if by magic. Or more accurately, thanks to a hydraulic ram inside the central tower.
It is a great metal flower opening and closing. It’s a spectacle of engineering that will attract thousands of visitors a year. And more importantly for keen cyclists and walkers, it’s the missing link that connects two traffic-free sectors of the National Cycle Route 5. Now you can ride 15 off-road miles from Barkby beach at Prestatyn all the way through Rhyl and into neighbouring Conwy. Just watch out for pedestrians on your way over the bridge as the bridge also carries the Wales Coast Path, which traverses the whole of North Wales and beyond.
On the other side, from summer 2014, you’ll find a new public square, a quayside building containing a café and exhibition space and greatly improved facilities for sailors.
Because Rhyl is still very much a working harbour, the extended quay, new slipway and boatyard will keep it buzzing with life and create a hub for the surrounding dunes and beaches.
No doubt you’ll want to hop off your bike and stop for a rest to soak up the atmosphere. You may even be tempted to charter an angling trip for mackerel, plaice, gurnard, bass, Pollack or cod. After all, you could always carry them home.