Posted: Sat 1st Apr 2017

No prizes for guessing the A494 bridge story was an Aprils Fool –

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 1st, 2017

Leaked plans appear to show the favoured design for a A494 bridge over the River Dee at Queensferry.

The plans which have been seen by Deeside.com emerged this week after questions were raised to the Welsh Government about a replacement bridge over the River Dee at Queensferry. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As the consultation got under way for the A494 / A55 / A458 Deeside corridor, it became apparent to many reading the consultation document the bottle neck bridge, a main cause of delays for motorist heading along the A494 into Wales was not included in ‘blue route’ proposals. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Government are consulting on two options for improvements to the A55/A494/A548 Deeside Corridor, the blue and red routes as they have been called. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The current bridge which carries the A494 over the River Dee at Queensferry is in need of major repair and deemed unfit for purpose, it will be replaced at the same time as work on the Deeside Corridor. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

An email sent to Deeside.com from a source close to Bridge and Underpass Minster Ben Gates, outlines ambitious proposals which are in the final stages of development. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Inspiration for the new A494 bridge

The plans are being pushed through by Mr Gates following his three month fact finding mission to China where he was particulaly impressed with the Lucky Knot Bridge bridge which spans the Dragon King Harbour River in Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan province. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We’ve been told the Government has already commissioned the same Dutch Architect firm Lipar Lofo, designers of the impressive 600 ft long red truss ‘Lucky Knot Bridge’ in Changsha, to develop a ‘look a like’ bridge for the A494 in Queensferry. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Bridge and Underpass Minster who hails from Mancot, which has recently been ‘twinned’ with Changsha, is also exploring the possibility of renaming the Northern Gateway development, the huge Welsh Government backed redevelopment around the former RAF base at Sealand the Eastern Gateway. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Bridges and Underpass Minster Ben Gates seen here with his Chinese counterpart while on a three month fact finding mission to China.

We are also told by somebody close to the project, the Welsh Government see the A494 bridge as a huge potential tourist attraction for north Wales and feel despite the need to eradicate traffic jams at some point, part pedestrianisation would drive the local Deeside economy with visitors wanting to walk the length of the bridge. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It’s also envisaged as part a refreshed Deeside tourism plan, rickshaw rides along the Deeside Strip through the growing ‘Take Away Quarter’ in Queensferry and up to Connah’s Quay will create a tourism bonanza. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Chinese Junk Boat rides from the yet to be named A494 bridge up to Connah’s Quay would also be an added attraction, while Natural Resources Wales have been asked to carry out a feasibility study into Koi Carp breeding programs in the River Dee as part of the plan. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Welsh Government source said these proposals are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and more will be revealed at a later stage. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

One shocked Deeside resident said “I hope that bloody bridge is made from Welsh Steel and not cheap Chinese rubbish” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Government has so far declined to comment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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