En­gi­neer hopes myth will be hit for Strait cross­ing de­sign:

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Mari Jones

AMYTHICAL Welsh gi­ant could soon be prop­ping up a new bridge across the Me­nai Strait if a civil en­gi­neer from Ban­gor has his way.

The Welsh gov­ern­ment says it will con­sider a pro­posal by Benji Poul­ton, who came up with the idea af­ter be­ing “un­der­whelmed” by the ex­ist­ing de­signs for a new cross­ing.

Benji’s eye-catch­ing de­sign re­places the cen­tral sup­port with a gi­ant statue of Bendi­gei­d­fran (Bran the Blessed), who went over to Ire­land to wage war against the king, Mathol­wch.

Ac­cord­ing to the leg­end, the Ir­ish sol­diers re­treated over the River Shan- an­non and burnt all the bridges.

Bendi­gei­d­fran lay over the river, ut­ter­ing “A fo ben, bid bont.” (“He who would be a leader, let him be a bridge” – now a pop­u­lar Welsh proverb.)

Benji said: “My de­sign has gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est, if it came to fruition can you imag­ine how much pub­lic­ity it would gen­er­ate for North Wales across the world?

“It would be­come an iconic bridge, and could only be great for tourism. “I was left feel­ing to­tally un­der­whelmed by the pre­sent de­signs, I think some­thing a lot more pi­o­neer­ing and in­ter­est­ing should be built. “The other two cross­ings are world fa­mous, but why not add an­other one that would high­light Welsh cul­ture.” The 37-year-old con­tin­ued: “There have been some neg­a­tive com­ments, I think some­body said it was a lit­tle too “Dis­ney”, my pic­ture doesn’t re­ally do it jus­tice what it would look like in real life.” The Welsh Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to build­ing a third cross­ing of the Me­nai Strait and ear­lier this month re­vealed its pre­ferred route, just to the east of the ex­ist­ing Bri­tan­nia Bridge. B A gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said “all op­tions” would be con­sid­ered. If Benji’s de­sign is cho­sen, pas­sen­gers on the Lon­don-Holy­head rail­way line would have a face-to-face en­counter with the gi­ant. Poul­ton’s de­sign won the Welsh re­gional fi­nal of Pitch 200, a com­pe­ti­tion run by the ICE. He will com­pete in the fi­nal on Novem­ber 26 against other engi­neers from around the world.

Benji Poul­ton’s eye-catch­ing de­sign for the third Me­nai cross­ing re­places the cen­tral sup­port with a gi­ant statue of Bendi­gei­d­fran (Bran the Blessed)

Benji Poul­ton says the orig­i­nal de­sign is un­der­whelm­ing

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