The Flintshire Bridge, Connah’s Quay

The Flintshire Bridge, Connah’s Quay

The view downstream from this point on the Wales Coast Path is dominated by the Flintshire Bridge, Britain’s biggest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge.

The road bridge cost £55m and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1998. It is almost 1km long, with the cable-stayed span over the river Dee being 294 metres long. The off-centre tower is 118 metres high. Its foundations go down to the bedrock, more than 60 metres below the surface.

The bridge provided a new route into Deeside Industrial Park, one of Europe’s largest industrial estates, but has carried relatively little traffic. In 2019 the Welsh Government began to procure contractors to build a new road connecting the bridge to the A55 Expressway. The aim is to divert some cross-border traffic over the bridge, to relieve the route via Queensferry.

The bridge’s western end crosses ground which was built up above the usual marsh level, to prevent flooding of the coal-fired power station built there in the 1950s. The station closed in the early 1980s and demolition began in 1992.

Beyond the Flintshire Bridge stand the towers of Connah’s Quay power station, opened in 1996. Natural gas from under the sea in Liverpool Bay arrives at the site by pipeline via Point of Ayr, further along the coast. The power station uses combined-cycle technology, recovering waste heat from the gas turbines to power steam turbines. Both types of turbine generate electricity.

A nuclear power station was proposed for Connah’s Quay in the early 1970s. It was rejected after local authorities and others argued at a public inquiry that it would reduce the scope for population growth locally, as there would have been restrictions on new housing in the vicinity for safety reasons.

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