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Third Menai crossing 'could be open by 2022'

Third Menai crossing 'could be open by 2022'

A third crossing of the Menai Straits to the isle of Anglesey could be in place by 2022, Welsh Assembly first minister Carwyn Jones has said.
 
During First Minister's Questions in the Senedd yesterday (June 6th), Mr Jones was asked about progress on the issue by Conservative AM Mark Isherwood and Plaid Cymru member Rhun ap Iorwerth.
 
He responded: "We've appointed Aecom to support our next phase of the development work, that will result in the announcement of a preferred route in May 2018.
 
"Our aim is to see the third Menai crossing open in 2022."
 
Aecom has already appointed sub-contractors Knight Architects and Ruthin-based environmental consultancy Richards, Moorehead & Laing for the project, the Daily Post reports.
 
Mr Jones said various designs and routes are under consideration and an announcement will be made in the next 12 months on the preferred option. 
 
This could include the construction of a tunnel, or a third bridge across the straits.
 
Anglesey was first linked to the mainland in the first half of the 19th century, starting with the Menai Suspension Bridge, an iconic structure designed by Thomas Telford. It carries the A5 across the straits from Bangor to the village of Menai Bridge. Following this, the Britannia Bridge was built as a railway crossing, with the next station on the island being the longest place name in Britain - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. 
 
The Menai Bridge remained the only road crossing until 1980, when a road bridge was built on top of the Britannia Bridge above the railway, carrying the A55 North Wales expressway across the straits. However, because of its lofty position the bridge can be closed to high-sided traffic on windy days, leading to traffic congestion around Menai Bridge village. 
 
As well as a new road bridge, Anglesey could see a rail line closed in the Beeching cuts being reopened.
 
In April, ministers in Cardiff listed Llangefni Station on the island as one of 12 that could be reopened. Although the line serving it closed to passengers in the 1960s, it remained in use as a goods line until the 1990s and the trackbed is still in place, making it easier to restore.

Image: iStock/lazortech

 

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