|Location Map ( geo)|
|1841, 1887, 1934, 2004|
|Crossings related to the A811|
|Drymen Bridge • Erskine Bridge|
For centuries, Balloch has been the northern crossing point of the River Leven, set at the southern end of Loch Lomond. A ferry is known to have plied across the river in medieval times, but by the mid nineteenth century, it became increasingly important that a bridge be built to take some of the strain from the main crossing at Dumbarton.
Situated at the historic crossing point of the River Leven, this five-span plate-girder and lattice-truss bridge was opened in 1887, replacing an earlier suspension bridge dating from 1841. The older bridge had been one of James Dredges Suspension Bridges, but for whatever reason did not last as long as many of his other bridges. Balloch Bridge was substantially rebuilt in 2004, with the deck completely replaced with a modern concrete unit, resting on the original sandstone piers.
When the roads were first allocated numbers in 1922, the bridge became part of the short route of the A813, and this continued until the new Lomond Bridge was built to the south in 1934. However, it seems that it took several years before the route was moved and the road crossing via Balloch Bridge was downgraded to Class II status, as the B854 (since declassified). This appears to have been as late as 1938 or 39.
The Lomond Bridge was built in 1934 to supplement the older bridge to the north, and take traffic away from the busier tourist area at the south end of Loch Lomond. It consists of 3 spans of plate girders, supported on stone piers, with a concrete deck carrying the wide road and pavements. Since the construction of the Alexandria Bypass and the rerouting of the A811 to the Balloch Roundabout, this road has crossed the River Leven on the newer Lomond Bridge. Before that, it was the new crossing for the A813, replacing the old Balloch Bridge.