The Welsh Government has given the go-ahead for a plan to build a new road bridge across the Menai Strait in North Wales.
The plan, known as the purple route option, is to build a new road bridge to the east of the existing Britannia Bridge from Anglesey and the Welsh mainland, to relieve congestion on the A55.
Additional facilities for pedestrians and cyclists are also to be included as part of the scheme. The final cost of the structure will depend on the type of bridge design chosen.
The Welsh Government said the plan offers “high value for money” and is also the most popular option as 25% of respondents in a public consultation selected it as their first choice.
Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones said: “The Britannia Bridge is the only section of the [A55] route which is single carriageway and we know this reduction in lanes leads to congestion at peak times and during the tourist seasons. There is very strong case for increasing capacity across the Menai and I am delighted the Welsh Government is taking action to address the issue.
“Based on the appraisal undertaken on the options, the Purple Option performs best and would be vital in improving journey times, strengthening the A55’s resilience, and ensuring safer travel across the Menai Strait.
“It will also provide economic benefits and ensure the route is fit for purpose as traffic volume is expected to increase over the years to come.”
The Welsh first minister also confirmed that construction is due to start in 2021.
Welsh cabinet secretary for economy and transport Ken Skates added: “We fully understand the sensitivity of placing a new crossing over the Menai Strait and further visualisation assessment and analysis work will now take place before the bridge type is selected and taken forward to the next stage of scheme development.
“The Welsh Government is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in North Wales and the announcement of the Purple Option as the preferred route for the third Menai crossing is yet another great example of our commitment to the region.”
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