|Date||12 October 2014|
|Location||Holyhead||SH 24734 82469; 53.31006°N, 4.63213°W|
A ten-year regeneration strategy for the town of Holyhead was launched in 2003. A central element of this was improving access between the town centre and the ferry terminal and railway station, with the hopes of enticing more of the 2.4 million passengers using the port each year into the town and thereby improving its economy. Taking centre stage in the plans was the £7.5m Celtic Gateway project. This involved creating a walkway between the port’s railway station and the High Street and was funded by the EU Objective One programme, the Welsh Assembly Government and the erstwhile Welsh Development Agency. The pedestrian link comprises two bridges: a causeway bridge over the Inner Harbour and the adjoining Celtic Gateway Bridge crossing Victoria Road and the West Dock railway lines. The latter bridge was envisaged as an iconic landmark giving ferry visitors from Ireland a dramatic first impression of the town.
Work on the 128m-long, 4m-wide causeway bridge, which was designed and built by Dartford-based multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke, commenced in February 2004. Construction of the Celtic Gateway bridge, which was designed by engineering consultants Gifford (now part of the Denmark-based international consulting group Ramboll), fabricated by Cimolai SpA in Italy, and assembled by Laing O’Rourke, started in November 2005 and was completed in October 2006.
The Celtic Gateway Bridge was built in lean duplex stainless steel and its 70m main-span is supported by two 15-tonne welded inclined-plane tubular arches 1m in diameter and 8m high. Three months after its opening there were complaints over unsightly brown stains forming on the bridge. It turned out that the contractors had incorrectly used iron bolts instead of stainless steel fittings and these were corroding with the rust staining the concrete.