|Location Map ( geo)|
After passing Loch Achtriochtan as we descend Glen Coe, we reach Achnambeithach Bridge over the River Coe. Through the glen, there are several bridges and culverts crossing small streams. These bridges are all dated 1929/1930, and several cross stream beds which appear dry for much of the time, and raging torrents the rest of the time! The original bridge across the Coe would have been very similar to these surviving structures. However, time was not kind to it, and so it was replaced in 2008/9.
The bridge at Achnambeithach is one of the newest of the A82s many bridges, dating from 2008/9. As with the bridge at the falls higher up the glen, a Bailey Bridge was laid alongside to keep the road open, with a complex set of traffic lights allowing for the traffic on the Clachaig Road, and the car park next to the bridge. This car park, incidentally, is on the old road formation which then used the Clachaig road before the new road was built in 1930.
The bridge has a concrete deck supported on Steel Girders spanning the river. The abutments are concrete clad in stone, and unlike the recently-replaced Ba Bridge on Rannoch Moor, there is nothing left visible of the 1930s bridge that previously crossed here.
Leading off from the car park area is another bridge across the Coe, this time to the cottage of Achnambeithach. This structure has a timber deck, supported on steel girders, with a central pier and abutments all built in concrete.
Clachaig Road Bridge
There is also a bridge on the Clachaig Road, immediately next to Achnambeithach Bridge. It does not cross the Coe, but a very minor tributary stream. It is difficult to be certain if the structure was built by Telford's team in the early 1800s, or if it is actually older dating back to c1786 when the Brig O'Coe, and Brig O'Laroch were built on the new Drove Road through Glen Coe.
The structure is a very basic, and indeed small, stone arch, which is completely dwarfed by the landscape of the Aonach Eagach Ridge soaring above it. It is the sort of bridge that would hardly be noticed, were it not so obvious from the new bridge!
Clachaig Road End Junction
Lying immediately to the east of the two bridges is a junction, where the Clachaig Road (also known as the Old Glencoe Road) meets the A82. This is where the new road, built in 1930, diverged from the old drove road as they descended the last couple of miles to the shore of Loch Leven. The junction is a fairly simple T junction, the Clachaig Road ending, facing the parapet of the skew bridge over the River Coe. There are no turning lanes, although there can be a lot of turning traffic, particularly in the summer months.
Diagonally across the A82, the line of the old drove road reappears, following the river bank past a timber bridge which provides access to the lonely cottage of Achnambeithach. This section of old road was rebuilt as a sizeable parking area when the bridge was replaced, and the old road continues back up to meet the modern A82, although this far end is only one way into the parking area due to the sharp fork.