Menai Bridge to remain closed until next year as ‘safety risk’ revealed

A temporary solution is due to be put in place by the Welsh Government which should allow the Menai Bridge to reopen to some road traffic from early 2023. Credit: ITV Wales

The reason behind the closure of the Menai Bridge has been revealed after a meeting of local politicians from Anglesey and Gwynedd and highways staff from the Welsh Government.

The suspension bridge, which is one of the two routes connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the mainland, was closed to vehicles on October 21 due to a "structural issue". 

Brittle hangers which are used to keep the bridge deck suspended over the Menai Straits has now been identified as the structural risk .

It is believed that the defect was first identified in the 1990s and weaknesses were found earlier this year, prompting further testing which led to the emergency closure of the bridge.

The Menai Bridge was the world's first suspension bridge and opened in 1826. It is a Grade 1 listed landmark, built by Thomas Telford. Credit: ITV Wales

Vehicles under 7.5 tonnes will be allowed to use the bridge once the additional support to the brittle hangers is in place.

Options to improve traffic flow across the Britannia Bridge are also being explored after concerns were raised about the congestion on the A55.

The MP for Anglesey, Virginia Crosbie is calling for compensation for local businesses affected by the closure.

“The closure of Menai Bridge has already had a real impact on residents and businesses across Ynys Môn. Along with my Conservative colleagues I will be pushing for compensation for local businesses and additional critical healthcare support on the island from the Welsh Government."

Ian Lang reports on the business owners in Anglesey who say their trade has suffered a devasting blow since the closure of the bridge due to urgent safety concerns...

She added that a third route connecting Anglesey to the mainland should be explored as soon as possible.

"It is vital that plans for a third Menai Bridge are accelerated given the new bridge will take seven years to build.”

The Welsh Government says they are hoping to reopen the bridge as quickly as possible.

"We appreciate the difficulty and frustrations this may cause, but the decision was made in the interest of public safety .

"The Welsh Government and UK Highways A55 Ltd are doing everything within their powers, to carry out repairs to the bridge as quickly as possible, so it can reopen when it is safe to do so.

"After discussions with UK Highways A55 Ltd and their structural experts, the footway across the bridge is open for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists.

"People must remain on the pedestrian footways and numbers will be limited."

There is an information page available to answer 'frequently asked questions' on the Welsh Government website.

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