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Travel disruption expected as Menai Bridge partially closes

05 Jun 2023 2 minute read
The Menai Suspension Bridge. Photo by bvi4092 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Travel disruption is expected as the latest round of checks are made to the Menai Bridge , one of two bridges connecting Anglesey with mainland Wales.

One lane of the bridge was closed this morning and traffic lights are in place until the end of the week when the inspection is due to finish.

The Welsh Government confirmed earlier this year that permanent repair work is needed on the 200-year-old structure and that it’s scheduled to start in late summer.

The bridge, which is used by nearly 50,000 vehicles a day, was suddenly closed without prior notice by the government on 21 October 2022 due to safety concerns raised by by structural engineers.

In January of this year the bridge was closed so that engineers could temporarily strengthen the 106 hangers with steel wires.

Local business say they have suffered more during past bridge closures than they did during the Covid lockdowns.

Third bridge

Plaid Cymru MS for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth has consistently called on the Welsh Government to build a third bridge connecting Anglesey to the mainland.

Earlier this year deputy climate change minister Lee Waters said the Welsh Government does not have the funding for any new major road projects.

His comments came after the proposed £400M third crossing across the Menai Strait was shelved by the Welsh Government in February as part of its Roads Review.

“It’s [the third Menai Strait crossing] not happening anytime soon because we don’t have the money. Our capital budget has been cut by 8% next year and our costs, right across the board, are going through the roof,” he told BBC Wales.

“It’s a fantasy to suggest there’s this pipeline of schemes that can be afforded and should be allocated to certain areas, the cash isn’t there.”

Construction costs for the preferred option for the new crossing, a four-lane bridge east of the existing A55 Britannia Bridge, known as the “purple route had spiralled since the project was first mooted, with costs estimated originally at £130 million.

Other options included a “sienna” route, which would have seen another four-lane bridge built even closer to A55 Britannia Bridge but with a lower deck to reduce its visual impact.

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