Specialist steel engineering and construction business Cleveland Bridge UK will carry out the restoration of key components of the transporter bridge, which was originally opened in 1906.

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.”

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.

The work will be undertaken by Cleveland Bridge UK’s bridge rehabilitation team as part of a contract awarded by Newport City Council. Funding for the project was secured last month (link opens in new tab).

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 steelwork repairs and complete corrosion prevention and painting.

Newport Transporter Bridge

“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,” said Droogan. “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.”

Councillor 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.”

The restoration of the bridge will start in March with design and pre-works offsite operations. Completion is planned for the start of 2022.