Transportation History

January 30, 1826

The Menai Suspension Bridge connecting the island of Anglesey with the mainland of Wales was opened to a great deal of fanfare. This structure, which crosses over the Menai Straits, is widely considered to be the world’s first modern suspension bridge.

Prior to the bridge’s opening, the only options for traveling between Anglesey and the mainland were by ferry or – if there was a low tide — by foot (risky even under those circumstances). Anglesey’s leading source of income involved the sale of cattle, which had customarily been led into the water and guided across to the mainland. It was decided at long last to build a bridge at that location, not only to get livestock across in an easier and safer manner but also to transport those animals more expeditiously to London and other regions.

Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford designed the bridge, and construction on…

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