US engineering behemoth Aecom has secured a contract with the Welsh government to deliver design services for the third crossing of the Menai Strait.
Under the contract, Aecom will choose a location and develop the initial designs for a bridge crossing that will link Anglesey with mainland Wales.
Aecom will deliver a range of multidisciplinary services, including:
- Bridge and highway engineering
- Transport planning
- Traffic modelling
- Environmental and ecology consultancy services
- Review of the impact on the Menai and Britannia Bridges
- Development of a design that minimises impact on the environment and is sympathetic to the existing crossings.
Aecom will work with its sub-consultants Knight Architects and Ruthin-based environmental consultancy Richards, Moorehead & Laing.
A third Menai crossing will alleviate traffic on the two existing bridges over the straits.
The Menai Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in the 1820s and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge (pictured) suffer from heavy congestion.
The Britannia Bridge is also the only section of the A55 that is not dual carriageway and can be a bottleneck for traffic along the route, which links the M53 with Holyhead Port and is part of a trans-European road network.
Dave Beddell, Aecom’s Europe highways director, said: "A much-needed third crossing on the Menai Strait will keep traffic moving along the strategic A55, helping to boost economic growth in North Wales and Anglesey.
"Aecom brings a breadth of experience in the delivery of major bridge and highway infrastructure to take this exciting project to its next stage of development." Â
Work on the project will begin immediately and follows Aecom’s previous work in 2016 to develop a strategic business case for the scheme.
Image: The view from the west of Britannia Bridge along the Menai Strait showing the memorial to Admiral Nelson (Andrew Dixon)