Posted: Thu 6th Jul 2023

Menai Suspension Bridge set to undergo two year overhaul

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 6th, 2023


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The iconic Menai Suspension Bridge, linking Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, is set to undergo two years of restoration work, beginning in September, the Welsh Government has announced.

The work will lead to one lane being closed during the programme of work.

Concerns have been raised by the Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn, Rhun ap Iorwerth, regarding the estimated completion time.

The restoration, scheduled to start on Monday, 4 September, aims to ensure the bridge’s readiness for its bicentenary celebrations in January 2026.

The start date has been chosen to minimise disruption over the summer holidays, and work is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2025.

The programme of works will not lead to the full closure of the bridge, and traffic management will be implemented to reduce disruption to local residents.

Today’s announcement follows the installation of temporary hangers earlier this year.

To meet the deadline, the programme will continue during holiday periods, including Easter, school half terms, and the summer holidays.

“This will minimise the impact of weather delays on the programme,” the Welsh Government has said.

Working hours are set at 7am to 7pm on weekdays, and lane closures will apply.

Only one lane will be closed during working hours.

Traffic lights will also be manually operated during peak periods to ensure traffic flows as efficiently as possible while the works take place.

[Deputy Climate Change Minister with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters]

The overhaul, to be carried out by the Spencer Group under the oversight of UK Highways A55 Limited and the Welsh Government, has sparked a response from Mr ap Iorwerth.

“I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated that the estimated timeframe for completing the permanent works on Pont y Borth is scheduled to take so long,” he said.

“Even with one lane remaining open during this time, I have no doubt that the impact on the local community and bridge users will be significant.”

Mr ap Iorwerth emphasised the severe impact on local businesses following the sudden closure of the bridge last October. His concerns centre around the potential knock-on effects of having continued disruption on the bridge. “We need to bring this timescale down,” he insisted.

Deputy Climate Change Minister with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters, assured that every effort is being made to minimise disruption, acknowledging the need for careful restoration to ensure the bridge’s continued service.

The restoration initiative includes the installation of new permanent hangers after an intensive period of development and testing, and extensive exterior painting.

Mr Iorwerth underlined the clear lack of resilience in the Menai crossing infrastructure, citing the need for a more robust crossing, suggesting a dual Britannia crossing or the erection of a third bridge.

“My priority now will be to lobby the Government to significantly reduce the timescales and to ensure that all possible mitigating measures are put in place to help traffic flow. That should include considering if further business support is required for this period from September,” he stressed.

Mr Waters said: “To make sure this special bridge can continue to serve us into its 200th year, we need to make sure the restoration is given the time it needs.”

“We will continue to work with all partners, including emergency services, to minimise disruption and get this work completed as quickly and as safely as possible.”

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