Newport Transporter BridgeEdit profile
Coordinates: 51°34′14″N 2°59′9″W / 51.57056°N 2.98583°W / 51.57056; -2.98583
The Newport Transporter Bridge (Welsh: Pont Gludo Casnewydd) is a transporter bridge that crosses the River Usk in Newport, South Wales. It is a Grade I listed structure. Designed by French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin, it was built in 1906 and opened by Godfrey Charles Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar on 12 September 1906. The span is an example of the very rare transporter bridge concept, of which only eight exist worldwide.
The bridge is the crossing lowest on the River Usk.Reason for the Transporter design
The design was chosen because the river banks are very low at the desired crossing point (a few miles south of the city centre) where an ordinary bridge would need a very long approach ramp to attain sufficient height to allow ships to pass under, and a ferry could not be used during low tide at the site.
The height of the towers is 242 feet (74 m) and the height of the horizontal beam above the road is 177 feet (54 m). The transporter platform or gondola travels the 645 feet (196.6 m) between the towers at ten feet (three metres) per second, powered from the engine room. This Transporter Bridge is the largest of the eight which remain worldwide, and the oldest of its type in Britain.Other information
Today, the bridge is widely regarded as the most recognisable symbol of the city of Newport.
The bridge forms part of the classified highway network and is also where route 4 of the National Cycle Network crosses the River Usk and route 47 begins.
It was the focal point of the local millennium celebrations of 2000, where fireworks were fired from its length, and has been featured in several movies and television shows. It was the centre-piece of the Crow Point Festival in September 2006 to celebrate its centenary. It is used for charity events such as sponsored abseils.
Travel across the bridge is free for all kinds of bikes and pedestrians, the fare for cars (as of January 2011) being £1. The walkway across the top of the bridge structure is open to the public on bank holidays.Refurbishment
The bridge was shut down in 1985 because of wear and tear. Following a £3 million refurbishment, it reopened in 1995 and operated until late 2007. Service was suspended again at the end of 2007 in order to carry out a further £1.225 million refurbishment, re-opening on 30 July 2010.
The bridge was closed on 16 February 2011, because of operational problems, but re-opened again on 4 June.Appearances in popular media
The bridge provided the setting for some scenes in the 1959 British crime drama film Tiger Bay and also featured in an early scene in the 1972 experimental film The Other Side of the Underneath by Jane Arden which was reissued on DVD and Blu-ray by the British Film Institute in 2009.