Celtic Gateway Bridge and Causeway, Holyhead

The port of Holyhead sees 2.4 million passengers pass through in a year on the Wales to Ireland ferry. Although the ferry terminal and the railway station are only about 250 metres from Holyhead town centre, access between the two was difficult until the construction of the Celtic Gateway. The  Gateway project was an ambitious project to create easier links between the port of Holyhead and the town centre.   A major part of this project was the construction of a dramatic bridge spanning Victoria Road and the railway to the north of platform 1. This link is continued eastwards as a causeway over the inner Harbour. Other features of the project are improvements to the station and to the town centre, and the addition of a number of artworks.

The total length of the futuristic bridge is 160 metres with the main span at 70 metres, with a width of 4 metres. The  bridge consists of two load bearing arches which terminate in an upward sweep at the eastern end; the arches are 8 metres high and are built out of welded tubular sections of  steel, 1 metre in diameter. The total weight of the steelwork is 330 tons, or which 220 tons are of Duplex stainless steel. The bridge was designed by Gifford and Partners, the steelwork fabricated  in Italy by Cimolai, and construction was by Laing O'Rourke at a total cost of 6.2 million and opened in October 2006. For a view of the project under construction see here.

At the eastern end of the bridge, steps and a ramp lead down to a causeway (strictly a low bridge just above water level) over the inner Harbour and straight on to the entrance to platform 2 of Holyhead Station.  There is also a way through from the foot of the steps to platform 1 of the Station.

The Gateway is further enhanced by a number of artworks. These include "Sun boats", a series of bronze plaques which have been built into the bridge paving. The sun boat image is derived from the sun-worshipping Celts who believed it travelled across the night sky in a boat. "Holyhead Sculpture" are works of slate executed by Howard Bowcott and have been designed to reflect the shapes of boats and mooring posts. Lastly, there at the town end of the bridge there are two mosaics depicting two Celtic saints from Anglesey - St Cybi and St Seiriol. For the legend concerning these two saints, see here.

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