Please take a look via this Larger Version
where the magnificence of this structure can be seen in much more detail.
Newport Bridge - Middlesbrough
In 1925 a joint committee of representatives from Middlesbrough Corporation and the Durham County Council requested that a report was prepared on the question of a new bridge to be located upstream of the Transporter Bridge. The report recommended that a bridge of the vertical lifting type, situated near Newport, would be the most suitable to adopt. The bridge was required to be able to carry the heaviest type of vehicle, and provide a clear opening of 250' for river traffic, together with a headway of 120' above high water of ordinary spring tides for the full width of the opening. The Tees Newport Bridge, which was constructed in 1934, was built by prominent local company, Dorman Long. They were also responsible for such structures as the Tyne Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The bridge was formally declared open on Wednesday 28th February 1934 by His Royal Highness the Duke of York KG., accompanied by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York. Until 1970 the bridge was crewed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by staff operating a shift system. Originally the crew was made up of seven drivers and twelve gatemen under the supervision of a bridge master. At its peak, in the early 1940's the bridge was raised for shipping around 300 times a year. Over the years the staff were gradually reduced to three drivers and four gatemen working a two shift system covering twelve hours each day except public holidays. Finally, due mainly to lack of river traffic, the bridge was only manned five days a week, Monday to Friday, from 7:30 am to 4 pm. The staff at this time consisted of three men.
The End of an Era
In 1989 a Bill was placed before Parliament to remove Cleveland County Council's obligation, as owner, to raise the bridge for river traffic. Royal Assent to this Bill was given on 3rd July 1989 and the Tees Newport Bridge Act 1989, stating that the legal requirement to lift the bridge has been repealed, became operative on 3rd September 1989. The final lift of the bridge took place on Sunday 18th November 1990, the event being marked by press and television coverage. In recognition of its rarity and uniqueness in being a building of special architectural and historical interest the bridge was given Listed Building status, Grade two, on the 28th July 1988.
It lays claim to being the first vertical lift bridge in Britain, and it was the heaviest of its type in the world. Originally twelve men were needed to man the bridge around the clock, as during the 1940s and 1950s it had to be wound twice a day. The lifting span is now sealed as the number of ships needing to sail up to Stockton on Tees declined. The bridge is jointly owned by the boroughs of Middlesbrough and Stockton and now serves as a road bridge
NaturesHaven, Philip_H, gwynn56 and 11 more