Hull-based bridge works specialist Spencer Group has won a series of contracts for major refurbishment works on the Menai Suspension Bridge, which will be 200 years old in 2026.
The Grade I listed structure is the second oldest operational vehicle suspension bridge in the world. Opened in 1826, it crosses the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and mainland North Wales.
The primary focus of the work includes a £1.5m restoration project to repaint the entire main span underdeck of the 417m-long bridge.
Working on behalf of client UK Highways A55 Ltd, Spencer Group has designed bespoke moving gantry platforms so its team can reach the currently unreachable main span underdeck in to shotblast, inspect and repaint it.
Work will begin once designs are complete and environmental approvals have been granted, as the Menai Strait is protected as a Special Site of Scientific Interest and a wetland area of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Spencer Group will also strengthen the handrails of the pedestrian walkways on the approach spans to both sides of the bridge.A further project will see Spencer Group replace the majority of the vertical road deck hangers, which suspend the deck from the main chains of the bridge.
Luke Fisher, Sector Lead for Bridges and Structures at Spencer Group, said: “UK Highways A55 Ltd identified that the bridge is suffering from corrosion and needs repainting. For the underdeck painting scheme we designed the moving gantry platforms, which are unique to this project, and our industry-leading capabilities in this sector formed a significant part of the bid.
“We’re proud to have been awarded these contracts and to be given the opportunity to further demonstrate our ability to find innovative solutions to complex challenges of this nature.
“We’re also supporting the Menai Heritage Museum in Anglesey to raise awareness of both bridges over the Menai Strait, as well as the importance of civil engineering among local school pupils and college students. We’re giving talks and leading bridge walks to inspire the next generation.”