Newport Transporter Bridge builder returns for renovation project 115 years later

2nd February 2021

Cleveland Bridge UK is returning to the Newport Transporter Bridge, a structure it helped to build at the start of the 20th Century, to undertake a significant renovation project.

The North East-based specialist steel engineering and construction specialist will deliver the restoration of key components of the transporter bridge, which was originally opened in 1906.

The bridge, which has a span of 197m, crosses the River Usk in South East Wales 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 in the North East of England.

Undertaken by Cleveland Bridge UK’s Bridge Rehabilitation Team as part of a contract awarded by Newport City Council, the project includes the restoration of the gondola, which carries cars, buses, lorries, cyclists and pedestrians across the river and replenishing 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 UK’s engineers 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 with completion planned for the start of 2022.

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.”

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