STRUCTURAL engineers have recommended that Menai Bridge should close to all traffic, including pedestrians and cyclists to allow essential maintenance work to take place. This will take effect from 14:00hrs on Friday 21 October.
The announcement was made following recent testing of the bridges existing hangers. As part of UK Highways A55 ongoing maintenance of the Menai Bridge, it was identified that further testing would need to be carried out on the Menai Bridge alongside the replacement of some of the hangers.
As a result of further investigation, serious risks have been identified and structural engineers have recommended to close Menai Bridge to all traffic. The findings that led to the recommendation to close the bridge are currently being reviewed which could take up to two weeks. Available options to reopen the bridge as soon as possible are being actively assessed.
Temporary hanger strengthening works may need to be installed to ensure the safety and integrity of the Menai Bridge. This programme could take between 14-16 weeks, with the bridge reopening in early 2023.
In the meantime, traffic will be diverted to the Britannia Bridge.
Plans have been discussed with partners including Welsh Government, UK Highways A55, NMWTRA, Emergency Services and the local authorities.
The Welsh Government is developing further strategies to increase resilience on the Britannia Bridge to mitigate the risk of both bridges being closed in exceptional circumstances. In the last five years, the bridge has been closed to high-sided vehicles on average seven times a year.
A spokesperson for UK Highways A55 said
“We have received a recommendation from structural engineers to close the bridge for safety reasons. We have passed on this recommendation to the Welsh Government and are working closely with them to ensure the safety and integrity of the Menai Bridge is maintained.
“While this issue will cause disruption, we must act in the interest of public safety. We are currently peer reviewing the findings that led to the recommendation of closure and assessing all available options to reopen the bridge as soon as possible so people can get back to using the bridge regularly.”
Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said:
“This urgent work is being carried out for public safety, unfortunately it is unavoidable, but we are fully aware of the implication this will have for people in the local area.
“We are working closely with UK Highways to ensure this work is carried out safely and as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to the local community.”