When will the Menai Suspension Bridge reopen as repair work begins

A date has been given for when the Menai Suspension Bridge should reopen, as repair works get underway.

The Menai Suspension Bridge, one of the two routes linking the Isle of Anglesey to the mainland, has been closed for more than two months.

Issues over structural safety lead to the bridge being immediately and unexpectedly shut to vehicles on the 21 October 2022.

However a plan is now in place to ensure the bridge is safe for use and can reopen, with engineering works beginning on January 5.

Welsh Government has outlined what this will entail and how long it will take to complete.

  • Why was the bridge closed in the first place?

The bridge was closed suddenly in October last year due to a "structural issue".

It was later revealed that this involved the brittle hangers, which are used to keep the bridge deck suspended over the Menai Strait.

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

  • What work is being carried out to make the bridge safe?

Over the past few months, a plan of emergency works on the hangers has been developed by the Welsh Government and UK Highways.

This programme begins on January 5 2023 and will start with works on the western side of the bridge, followed by the eastern side.

A spokesperson from UK Highways said: “We appreciate everyone’s patience while an emergency solution was developed to resolve this unprecedented issue.

"We want to thank everyone for their hard work to deliver this solution so quickly, especially the resiliency of the residents of Ynys Mon and north Wales.

“Finding a solution to this very unique problem posed a number of complex engineering challenges. We worked extremely closely with UK Highways, the Welsh Government, and the wider project team of engineers to fully understand the issues and constraints, to allow us to develop a solution that is safe and robust for bridge users, and the structure itself, in the fastest possible timescale.”

Some scheduled maintenance works, including resurfacing the road, were also brought forward and have been carried out while the bridge has been closed. This is to avoid another closure further down the line.

While the Menai Suspension Bridge is closed, the only other way drivers can get to and from Anglesey is over the A55 Britannia Bridge.
  • When will the bridge reopen?

The works needed to make the bridge safe and reopen it to traffic should be completed within four weeks from the 5 January - so by 2 February.

However the Welsh Government added that any adverse weather conditions could cause delays.

  • What support is in place for those affected by the bridge closure?

Measures already taken to try and mitigate the impact of the bridge closure on local trade will continue while the emergency hanger works are being carried out.

These include free parking available at car parks in Menai Bridge town and at the two park and share sites. Gwynedd Council has also added more bus stops closer to the Menai Suspension Bridge in order to help with the loss of bus service between the island and mainland.

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: "The package of support to ease the transport pressures on people travelling to and from Ynys Mon remains in place and I am grateful to residents in the area for their patience as work on the Menai Suspension bridge continues.”