Major Repairs Begin on Iconic Menai Suspension Bridge

Work is due to begin on one of the world’s most historic suspension bridges, the Grade I listed Menai Suspension Bridge.

Work is due to begin on one of the world’s most historic suspension bridges, the Grade I listed Menai Suspension Bridge, the second oldest operational vehicular bridge in the world.

New Civil Engineer reports that the bridge, that crosses the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and mainland North Wales, will be subject to a programme of major works that include removing, replacement and then resurfacing almost all of the footway panels on the approach spans on both sides.

The bridge was designed by prolific road, bridge and canal builder Thomas Telford, who became the first President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and when opened in 1826, it had the longest span in the world at 176m.

Menai Suspension Bridge was the first connection between Anglesey and the Welsh mainland, carrying road and pedestrian traffic. It has since been joined by neighbouring Britannia Bridge, which carries rail and road vehicles.

Subcontractors for UK Highways A55 Ltd will begin the works on the 417m-long structure in January and is expected to take 23 weeks.

The Menai Strait is protected as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a wetland area of international importance area under the Ramsar Convention.

Because of these environmental protections, Spencer Group contracted for the works, has developed specific measures to contain all construction work and materials fully on the bridge and avoid any spillage into the water below.

Workers on the bridge will use complex rope access methods, often operating over the side and underneath the bridge deck, 30m above the Menai Strait.

The footways of the Menai Suspension Bridge will be closed while work takes place, with pedestrians using the opposite path during this time.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane from 9 am to 3 pm and two-way traffic signals will be in place for the duration of the work. Weekend work is not expected and COVID-19 safety measures are being put in place, including additional site cabins and cleaning facilities.

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