Menai Suspension Bridge

Menai Suspension Bridge

The Menai Suspension Bridge

  • Main span 176m
  • 30m deck height
  • Arched limestone approach viaduct

The bridge was a massive improvement in communication, not only for the people travelling to Ireland via Holyhead, but also for the locals.

For the first time, they could cross with their livestock to and from the mainland without fear of perishing in the fast-flowing, dangerous waters of the Menai Strait.

Thomas Telford

Telford designed and built all types of infrastructure; from churches to castles, canals to harbours, tunnels to roads and bridges. Menai was probably Telford's most acclaimed achievement.

It was the first iron suspension bridge of its kind in the world and it established the potential of suspension bridge technology to achieve both long and high spans. Telford designed the central span of the roadway, 176 metres long and 30 metres above water level, to be carried by 16 wrought-iron chains, each made of 935 iron bars (since replaced by steel chains).

Facts

Menai Suspension Bridge
Civil engineer: Thomas Telford
Main span: 176m

Effect

A pioneering connection to the mainland. safer crossing and world-leading engineering

Challenge

High banks, dangerous waters, need for unobstructed navigation

Solution

An iron suspension bridge

Legacy

World's first major suspension bridge