Plans for an alternative third Menai crossing, which would feature a statue of the mythological giant Bendigeidfran supporting the new bridge, are now being considered by planners.
Nearly 300 people have successfully petitioned the Welsh Government to consider the plans and the Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates has confirmed the design, known as ‘Pont Bendigeidfran’ would be amongst plans considered by the designers.
Benji Poulton, a civil engineer from Bangor, designed the concept after feeling uninspired with the existing designs for the new bridge over the Menai Strait. Mr Poulton said: “There was nothing special there that could live alongside the other bridges.
“I did some research and found that there are a lot of additional benefits to creating something a little bit special, a little bit different, it would bring in additional tourism to the area and promote Welsh culture. It is definitely iconic and definitely a world first.”
The design of the new bridge would feature the giant Bendigeidfran, of the ancient Welsh mythical Mabinogion tales, rising up out of the water to support the bridge.
In the Mabinogion tales, the giant Bendigeidfran (Bran the Blessed) waged war against the king of Ireland, Matholwch. According to the legend, the Irish soldiers retreated over the river Shannon and burnt all the bridges but Bendigeidfran lay over the river so that his soldiers could walk across his body to the other side. He is reputed to have said ‘a fo ben bid bont’ – he who is a leader should be a bridge.
Ken Skates said: “Consultants AECOM and Knight Architects are currently assessing and developing concepts of bridge designs which best fit within the Menai bridge landscape and consultations on these options with the Design Commissioner for Wales is ongoing,”
“The appropriateness of incorporating sculptures into bridges, such as Mr. Poulton’s Pont Bendigeidfran, forms part of this assessment.”
Benji Poulton said that the development was “great news”.
Watch the full proposal for ‘Pont Bendigeidfran’ Here: