|Gloucestershire • Monmouthshire|
|Crossings related to the M48|
The Wye Bridge is a cable-stayed girder bridge which carries the M48 motorway over the River Wye between Chepstow and Beachley as part of the Severn Crossing. In addition to the motorway, the bridge carries separate footways and a cycle track. The River Wye forms the modern boundary between England and Wales, and it is therefore this bridge, rather than the Severn Bridge, which crosses the border.
Originally opened on 8 September 1966 to carry the M4 motorway, the bridge was strengthened in the 1980s by the replacement of the original single-cable arrangement with two multi-strand cables, in order to accommodate increased vehicle loadings. The original cable strands were compressed to form a single thick cable whereas the two new cables have been left as a number of discrete strands to facilitate inspection. This strengthening work was carried out at the same time as a major strengthening of the adjoining Severn Bridge.
In 1996, the Second Severn Crossing was opened, and the Wye Bridge became part of the M48, with a substantial decrease in traffic.
The bridge is tolled as part of the Severn Crossing concession. Tolls are levied on westbound traffic only and can be paid by cash or through a TAG system at toll booths east of the Severn Bridge. A single toll covers both Severn and Wye bridges as there is no entry or exit to the M48 between the two bridges. The toll for the Severn and Wye Bridges is the same as that for the Second Severn Crossing. Tolls on both crossings are due to be withdrawn on 17 December 2018.