Wye Bridge 1966

Wye Bridge 1966

© Willum Griffith

The Bridge

As part of the Severn Bridge project, Bill Brown and the Freeman Fox team worked on a separate bridge and viaduct over the River Wye. This shorter, four-lane road crossing acted as a continuation of the main Severn Bridge and the M4 motorway. It became the M48 motorway when the Second Severn Bridge opened in 1996.

Bill had shown that, by getting the shaping and stiffened plates right on this project, he could produce a suspended structure that was up to 25% lighter than a more traditionally constructed crossing. It was a similar welded box to the main structure and indeed its design phase had influenced the decision to use a box girder deck on the main Severn superstructure.

Wye Bridge

Linking South Wales and England

Key Facts

Cable-stayed suspension bridge

Part of the Severn Bridge project

Advanced box girder deck


Monmouthshire, Wales

Across the River Wye

Linking Wales and England

Consulting Engineers

Freeman Fox & Partners


Cable-stayed Suspension Bridge

235m main span

1,153m total length

Main contractors

Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. Ltd.


Opened 1966

Crossing the Beachley Peninsula

The viaduct connecting the Wye Bridge to the Severn Bridge took the entire crossing right over the Beachley Peninsula near Chepstow. The Wye Bridge was constructed of steel with reinforced concrete piers. Its main span was 235 metres long and its road deck consisted of a continuous steel box girder measuring 14.6 metres wide.

Together with the completed Severn Bridge, it was opened on 8 September 1966 by Her Majesty the Queen, receiving significant publicity in engineering and national media across the world. It was another triumph in suspension bridge innovation for Bill and Freeman Fox.

Other long-span bridges