|Location Map ( geo)|
The A55 trunk road passes through Pen-y-Clip headland, between Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan, by means of three tunnels and a viaduct. The two short tunnels and the viaduct, now normally used by eastbound traffic, were built in the mid-1930s. The much longer tunnel, normally used by westbound traffic, was built in the early 1990s as part of the dualling of the A55 from Chester to Bangor (later extended to Holyhead).
There is also a parallel 19th-century railway tunnel.
In 2009 two foot/cycle bridges were completed, spanning the westbound carriageway in front of each portal of the 1990s tunnel, to provide a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists, clear of the carriageways, between Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan. This route consists largely of Telford's original road which was the A55 before the 1930s tunnels were built.
The footbridges have been criticised on aesthetic grounds and because they are not suitable for horses.
The long westbound tunnel built in the 1990s was eventually chosen from three options. One of the rejected options involved an overland route for the westbound carriageway, with the eastbound following the old route through the 1930s tunnels. The third option was a new viaduct rising out of the sea for eastbound traffic, with westbound traffic using the 1930s tunnels.