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Transporter bridge

Fifteen Transporter Bridges have been built, of which seven remain. Their use is to carry a moveable roadway across a navigable river slung from a span tall enough to allow traffic to pass on the river.

The Newport transporter bridge was built in 1906 across the River Usk. Because the river banks are very low at the desired crossing point (a few miles south of the city centre) a bridge would needed a very long approach ramp and a ferry could not be used at low tide.

Photographs: The Newport Transporter Bridge (Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.)

The Newport transporter bridge. The two electricity pylons in the distance have no connection with the bridge.
In the Larger version, the ferry platform (a blue-green colour) can just be seen at midspan, very close to the river, suspended from the travelling carriage. The height of the towers is 242 feet (74 metres) and the height of the horizontal beam above the road is 177 feet (54 metres)

Information notice attached to the bridge approach. The bridge was designed by a French engineer (Ferdinand Arnodin) and opened in 1906. It was closed in 1985 when wire breakages were found and re-opened in 1995 after a 3 million refurbishment. It now operates every day.

The ferry platform, which can take 6 cars and 120 foot passengers, starting off across the River Usk. The platform travels the 592 feet (181 metres) between the towers at 10 feet (3 metres) per second. The one way fare is 50p (UK currency).

General view of the ferry platform, waiting for more vehicles to arrive. A very long flight of steps, for maintenance access to the horizontal beam, can be seen ascending the tower on the right.