The Newport Transporter Bridge in South Wales, opened in 1906, is undergoing a £10m renovation project.
The bridge, which has a span of 197 metres, crosses the River Usk in Newport and is a Grade I listed structure. It is one of only six transporter bridges that remain in use worldwide and one of two operational in the UK along with the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge across the Tees.
Newport City Council has called in the bridge’s original builder, Cleveland Bridge, to give it new life. The project includes the restoration of the gondola, which carries road vehicles and pedestrians across the river, and refurbishing all worn wooden and steel parts.
It will also restore lost architectural features and see the repair of the bridge’s cross beams and anchorage housing, as well as replacing rotting timbers and worn anchor pins and cables on the main booms.
In addition, Cleveland Bridge will replace cables and sockets, and provide the necessary steel work repairs and complete corrosion prevention and painting.
Beginning with design and pre-works offsite operation, the restoration of the bridge will start in March 2021 with completion planned for the start of 2022.
Newport City Council has secured an £8.75m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and allocated £1m from its capital budget to the project.
Chris Droogan, managing director of Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “Having been awarded the contract to build the Newport Transporter Bridge in 1902, we are exceptionally proud to have secured the restoration project almost 120 years later.
“It has an important place in the history of our business as one of the many iconic bridge structures we have built in the UK and around the world. Therefore, in addition to applying the skills and expertise of our Bridge Rehabilitation Team, we feel we have a duty of care to ensure that this bridge continues to be an essential part of the area’s transport infrastructure for the next 100 years.”
Cllr Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said “The Transporter Bridge is an icon of Newport, and a significant part of the story of Wales’ industrial past. It seems fitting that, having been involved in the initial construction, Cleveland Bridge UK will be returning to the bridge to help us deliver the restoration project, which will help preserve the structure for generations to come.”