Featured • December 12, 2022 • Author, admin
Sadly for visitors to the island, the Menai Bridge was forced to close from the 21st of October this year. Rusted suspension hangers and predicted high winds during the winter mean that the nearly 200 year old bridge – which has seen the number of daily crossings reach 50,000 in recent years – was in need of immediate and significant repair. Although there was little notice given of a lengthy closure, it’s a problem that has at least been discovered prior to what could have been a catastrophe. As Deputy Climate Change Minister, Lee Walters, said at the time of the closure:
We could have waited till the end of the weekend and given advance notice that the bridge would be closing on Monday, but, on reflection, we thought that would be imprudent; had something happened, that would have been unforgivable.
Something had changed since the previous inspection to require this work. But, in a sense, the system worked. The system is one of checks – regular checks, follow-up work, analysis – and that’s what happened.
At the time of writing, we now know a little more about the future of the work set to be undertaken. The central website of the Welsh Government outlined the next steps as follows:
- UK Highways A55 Ltd will carry out the improvements. CADW will monitor the works to ensure the listed structure is protected.
- We are planning to reopen the bridge in early 2023 to traffic weighing 7.5 tonnes and below.
- The hanger replacement programme and further details are being finalised.
- Due to the bridge closure and issues we are reviewing plans in case the A55 Britannia Bridge is closed in extreme events.
From the 1st of December, free parking will be available at car parks in Menai Bridge, and at the two park and share sites throughout December and January, while additional bus stops have been added to routes to allow commuters to get closer to the bridge in order to cross on foot.
What this means for your journey to Driftwood
The island is still very much accessible by road, but we would recommend that visitors to the island and Driftwood guests should allow extra time for their journey as the closure has resulted in regular delays in excess of 20 minutes to cross the Britannia Bridge. In addition, though we’re hopeful that no further disruption will be faced in the coming months until the suspension bridge can reopen, Britannia Bridge is subject to closure during periods of 70mph+ winds.
Nevertheless, we anticipate that all of our bookings will go ahead as planned – and we look forward to welcoming you all to beautiful Rhosneigr!