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Thu February 27 2020

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Third Menai bridge options studied

6 Feb 17 The devolved government of Wales is working up plans to build a third bridge across the Menai Strait.

Relief is needed for the double-decked Britannia Bridge
Relief is needed for the double-decked Britannia Bridge

With plans to build a new nuclear power station on the island of Anglesey, improved links to the mainland are regarded as a priority.

Thomas Telford’s original Menai Suspension Bridge opened in 1826 and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge followed in 1850 to carry the railway. An upper deck for A55 road traffic was added to the Britannia Bridge in 1980 but is often congested.

A third crossing is now on the agenda. It could be partly paid for by carrying National Grid cables.

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Wales’ economy and infrastructure secretary, Ken Skates, said: “I have long been clear in my commitment to a third Menai crossing, and the obvious benefits it would bring to local communities and the economy. The current system is often at or over capacity and with major projects such as Wylfa Newydd in the pipeline it’s imperative that we act quickly to look at how we can improve accessibility.

“We’ve looked in detail at all possible solutions to the existing Britannia Bridge, from providing three narrow lanes with tidal flow on the existing bridge to moving the eastbound merge to smooth traffic flow. These options have been ruled out following significant safety issues identified in risk assessments and concerns raised by the emergency services.

“We are now developing a preferred option for a new bridge in consultation with interested parties to see what’s possible. As part of this process, we continue to explore with the National Grid opportunities for a combined road and cable crossing – something which could provide added benefits to the scheme for all concerned.”

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