|Location Map ( geo)|
|Argyll and Bute|
|A819 • B840|
The small village of Cladich lies up a hill above the south shore of Loch Awe. It was once on the old military Road from Tyndrum to Inveraray, but since the 1950s it has been bypassed. However, in roads terms it is still a locally important junction with a substantial bridge carrying the modern route of the A819 across the Cladich River. The old road is now partly the B840, with a much simpler bridge further downstream.
The old bridge is not as old as may be imagined. It is a simple single-span Concrete structure carrying a narrow single tracked roadway across the river. This suggests that it is probably 20th Century in date, and as such may actually be contemporary with the new bridge. Indeed, with no sign of the previous bridge, it may have been a case of the new route being needed to provide a diversion whilst the crumbling old bridge was replaced!
Just a short distance to the south is the old junction, where the B840] once turned off the A819. The old route of the A819 up the hill is now a one way link downhill, and whilst often marked on maps as a spur of the B840, it is now unclassified.
The New Bridge
The Cladich Bypass takes the A819 to the east of the village, and so crosses the Cladich River upstream of the old bridge. Depsite this, a much larger bridge was needed to prevent the road dipping sharply across the channel. The river also seems to be wider here, although this may be because it has been constrained by the old bridge. The new bridge is a three-span concrete structure similar to many built throughout Argyll from the 1930s to the 1950s, however mapping evidence suggests that this bridge is post war in date. With the exception of the exposed beams under the deck, the whole structure is clad in stone to minimise the visual impact on the landscape - something which the trees have since achieved much more successfully!
There are, as hinted above, two junctions at Cladich, one either side of the bridge. Both are simple T-Junctions, that on the downhill, Dalmally, side being two-way, whilst the uphill one is one-way into Cladich. New signage has recently been ereceted in conjunction with the widening and general improvement of the A819, believed to be in readiness for its role as the diversion during upgrade works on the A82 Loch Lomondside road.