Plans to upgrade the A494 River Dee Bridge have taken a further step forward today as Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates announced the preferred option has been confirmed.
This follows a 12-week consultation which showed strong support for the preferred option to upgrade the bridge.
The River Dee Bridge, which was built in 1960, is a vital link between North Wales and the North West of England. It carries approximately 61,000 vehicles a day, connecting people, communities and business to the A55.
It was identified in the Welsh Government’s ‘Moving Wales Forward’ to address existing issues in the area and ensure it is fit for the future.
The upgrade is a key part of the Welsh Government’s plans to improve transport infrastructure and resilience in North Wales.
The Preferred Option will include a new river crossing for westbound traffic and the partial reuse of the existing River Dee Bridge for eastbound traffic. 3 lanes and a hard shoulder will extend from the River Dee to Queensferry junction which will include a new offline carriageway for westbound traffic. This will minimise disruption during construction by maintaining current traffic flows.
The option also includes a new cycle and pedestrian path which will help to encourage active travel and improve links within business zones.
It will improve safety, provide greater resilience and enhance journey time reliability on this key route into North Wales.
Transport Minister Ken Skates said:
“The A494 is a key economic artery for North Wales, linking it to the North West of England and further afield.
“This upgrade of the River Dee Bridge is vital in ensuring that the route is fit for the future, reliable and resilient. It is a key part of our wide-ranging plans to invest in transport improvements across North Wales.
“It will improve access to businesses, provide more opportunities for cycling and walking, and enhance the local environment.
“I’m pleased that following consultation on the preferred option we can now move ahead to the next stage which will be the publication of draft orders, expected later this year.”
Work on the preliminary design will now continue with draft Orders and Environmental Statement programmed to be published for comment this autumn. Public exhibitions will also be held at this time.
Construction could begin in 2021 subject to gaining all the necessary statutory consents.