THE Menai Bridge could re-open to vehicles under a certain weight in early 2023 and the “safety risk” has been disclosed.
MPs, MSs and councillors from Ynys Môn and Gwynedd met with Welsh Government highways staff to discuss the reopening of Menai Bridge, and the congestion being caused on Britannia Bridge.
It was revealed the “safety risk” to road users and the reason for the emergency closure was caused by brittle hangers, which are used to keep the bridge deck suspended over the Menai Straits.
Despite this defect being identified in the 1990s, it is understood the Welsh Government only recently identified this as a potential safety risk. Weaknesses to the structure were identified earlier this year, and further testing prompted the emergency closure of Menai Bridge on October 21 at 2pm.
The Welsh Government is planning a temporary solution, adding additional supports to the brittle hangers and allowing Menai Bridge to reopen to road traffic under 7.5 tonnes in early 2023. They’re also exploring options to improve traffic flow across Britannia Bridge to ease congestion on the A55.
Sam Rowlands, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, said: “The meeting with officials from the Welsh Government was productive, but it is important that safely reopening Menai Bridge is treated as a priority by the Welsh Government. Officials heard loud and clear about the impact the closure is having on businesses in Menai Bridge itself, as well as on congestion along the A55 trunk road.”
Virginia Crosbie, Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn, said: “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.
“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 has been approached for comment.