Thomas Telford started work on the Menai Bridge in 1819. The bridge was opened on the 30th January 1826 and served as the first permanent link between the mainland and the Isle of Anglesey, and in 2005, the Blasting and Coatings Division was awarded the order for its refurbishment.
Over 16,000m2 of steelwork was grit blasted and coated. Over 300 tonnes of scaffolding was used to construct 70 individual enclosures to allow access to all areas of the structure. While erecting the scaffolding we carefully followed an AIP (Approval In Principal) document that ensured we would not overload the structural components of the bridge.
All the work was carried out adjacent to live traffic that still crossed the bridge throughout the contract. Erecting and dismantling scaffolding also became difficult at times due to the adverse weather conditions. Traffic management was installed to keep the flow of traffic steady over the bridge as the refurbishment work progressed. The Menai Bridge serves as the lifeline between mainland Wales and Anglesey, so if the traffic control had been poorly controlled it would have created major problems for local businesses and the community.
Steel repairs were carried out to defective areas identified after removal of the existing coating system. The Menai Bridge is a Grade 1 listed structure and has also been nominated as a world heritage site. It was therefore essential that steel repairs were carried out to maintain the integrity of the structure, whilst also replacing materials on a 'like for like' basis.
This contract was selected as the Industrial Painting Contract of the Year in the 2006 Painting Decorating Association Annual Premier Trophy Awards.