Kerry Evans Eng Tech MICE is a Senior Engineer at Mott MacDonald and seconded to UK Highways A55 as the A55 DBFO Operations Manager for the important remedial work being carried out on the Menai Suspension Bridge. Kerry is also the Vice Chair, ICE Wales Cymru North Wales Branch.
The Bridge which opened in 1826, is the second oldest operational vehicular suspension bridge in the world and an icon of civil engineering history. To those who work on it, cross it, and live within its shadow; it is their personal piece of history too.
Kerry Evans said:
“Anyone who works on this bridge considers it an honour and a privilege to do so. I personally believe being appointed the custodian of this structure for a small window of its lifetime, is the pinnacle of my career. The bridge has become even more symbolic as we have all been restricted this past year due to the Coronavirus. For many it is the gateway to a holiday and respite, to others it means home. I am honoured to have an association with it but particularly with my links to the ICE and its proud history; with what I believe to be the most beautiful structure on earth.”
Remedial work on the bridge has started and is estimated to take 23 weeks. As a Grade I listed structure, many additional and important factors have been taken into consideration during the replacement of the footways, not least the requirements to make sure that the operatives and the public are safe. Health and safety are front and centre of all projects with care and protection for the environment also falling under this umbrella.
The Menai Strait is protected as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a wetland area of international importance area under the Ramsar Convention. The Spencer Group was brought on board as part of an Early Contractor Involvement specifically to investigate what can be built, safely, economically and have the highest regard of protection for the environment. As a result of these protections the Spencer Group has developed specific measures to contain all construction work and materials fully on the bridge and avoid any spillage into the water below. Several ecological surveys were also carried out by Eco-scope in the summer of 2020 as well as consultations with Natural Resources Wales for the Marine License.
Keith Jones, Director ICE Wales Cymru said:
“It is marvellous that the legacy of the ICE is being passed through the generations in this way. The expertise that our members bring to this project along with the extensive knowledge of the team involved ensures that the Menai Bridge will be preserved at its best for generations to come.”