The Second Severn Crossing is the M4 motorway bridge over the River Severn between England and Wales, inaugurated on 5 June 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales to supplement the traffic capacity of the original Severn Bridge built in 1966. The bridge marks the lower limit of the River Severn and the start of the Severn Estuary.
It is further south than the old bridge, and because it is closer in line with the landward sides of the M4, it gives a shorter journey when travelling between England and South Wales. The junctions at each end are designed for most traffic to use this crossing, and in order to use the old Severn Bridge crossing, one has to leave the M4 and join the M48 either at Aust or near Magor. The new crossing carries more traffic than the Severn Bridge, which is still in use. It is much wider than the Severn Bridge, having three lanes and a narrow hard shoulder each way, compared to the two lanes, cycle path and narrow footpath of the original crossing. The path taken by the bridge is close to that of the Severn Tunnel, which has carried the railway line beneath the river bed since 1886.
Much of the estuary is mudflats at low tide, but at high tide these can be covered by as much as 14m of water. This presented the engineers with a constraint: packets of work were scheduled at low tide, and needed to be completed within the short windows allowed by the tides.
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Second Severn Crossing Reviews
I have family in Wales so have crossed this many times since it opened in the mid 80's. In good weather it offers good views of the Severn Estuary as long as you are not the driver. It used to be... more »
Obviously you shouldn’t distract yourself by looking at the bridge if you’re the one doing the driving. But it s good to look otherwise. It’s particularly good with dark storm:clouds behind and the... more »
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