In 1923 the A829 ended at a dead end in Kinlochleven
Listed in the 1922 Road Lists as Carnach - Kinlochleven, the original part of the A829 was built during World War I by German prisoners of war as an access route to the new aluminium works at Kinlochleven. The works had started construction in c.1902 but until 1919 when the road was completed the only access was via Loch Leven, the Old Military Road over the Devil's Staircase and onto Fort William, or a very rough coastal path along the north shore of the loch via Callert. The new road was built along the hillside to the south of the loch, and climbs to two separate summits as it winds across the hillside. As it was built by POWs, most of the bridges bear no date stones, however, the last bridge to be built was completed in 1919, after the armistice, and so it carries a simple stone identifying that it was built in 1919 by POWs. The new road finally gave the residents of Kinlochleven a permanent, usable route to the outside world!
The B863 (former A829) on the northern side of Loch Leven
During the early 1920s the path via Callert was slowly improved so that by 1930 the full route around the loch was the A829. The path had already been used by cars, as early as 1916 when a fatal accident involving some Masons from Inverness occurred. The site is marked by a simple roadside memorial. Then in 1934, with a permanent road link now available, it was decided to re-route the A82 via Kinlochleven and so avoid the ferry. The A829 number has lain dormant ever since, despite one erroneous map marking it as the short spur on the north side of the Ballachulish Ferry. As far as can be told this was a misprint for the A828.
When the Ballachulish Bridge was opened in 1975 the A82 was routed that way instead and the former route of the A829 became the B863, so see that page for more information.
Despite its short life, the A829 saw many changes over the years. When first built, the route started immediately to the east of the old Brig o'Coe and followed what is now a muddy drive serving a couple of houses along the north bank of the River Coe to Invercoe. Invercoe Bridge was undated, but very similar in design to the Kinlochleven Viaduct which is dated 1929, suggesting that the two were built together as part of the completion of the route around Loch Leven. In Kinlochleven, then, there was also a subtly different route, as the A829 originally forked right along Garbheinn Road to cross the smelter railway at a level crossing and rejoin Leven Road (the current B863) near the war memorial.
The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Carnach - Kinlochleven An official document from 16-5-34 details the following changes: Wholly renumbered A82. A829 Vacant