Gateshead Millennium Bridge
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne between Gateshead's Quays arts quarter on the south bank in County Durham, and the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank in Northumberland. It opened for public use in 2001
The innovative design won awards for its designer, the architect Wilkinson Eyre and structural engineer Gifford. It is quite distinctive in its design due to its shape and its tilting method. In terms of height, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is slightly shorter than the neighbouring Tyne Bridge, and stands as the sixteenth tallest structure in the city.
The bridge was lifted into place in one piece by the Asian Hercules II, one of the world's largest floating cranes, on 20 November 2000. It was opened to the public on 17 September 2001, and was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 May 2002. The bridge cost £22 million to build, and was built by Volker Stevin.
Six 18-inch diameter hydraulic rams (three on each side, each powered by a 55 kW electric motor) rotate the bridge back on large bearings to allow small ships and boats (up to 82.0 feet tall) to pass underneath. The bridge takes as little as 4.5 minutes to rotate through the full 40° from closed to open, depending on wind speed. Its appearance during this manoeuvre has led to it being nicknamed the "Blinking Eye Bridge".
The bridge has operated reliably since construction, opening to allow river traffic to pass. It also opens periodically for sightseers and for major events such as the Northumbrian Water University Boat Race and the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race. One of the principal requirements for opening the bridge is to allow access to HMS Calliope where Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Example is based.
In 2005, the bridge received the Outstanding Structure Award from International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE).
Bollards, known as the Vessel Collision Protection System, were installed when the bridge was built to protect it from collisions. However, the bollards became unsightly, and it became noted that they were not really needed. They were removed in March 2012.
Tilt times for the bridge are displayed both on the bridge itself, and also on a page on the Gateshead Council – The Millennium Bridge
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Gateshead Millennium Bridge)
- Map: NZ256639
- Location map: 54°58’11"N, 1°36’0"W
- Gateshead Council: The Gateshead Millennium Bridge
- Gateshead Millennium Bridge by Sándor Kabai, The Wolfram Demonstrations Project
- Gateshead Millennium Bridge - YouTube
- "Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Tyneside". Gifford Ltd.. http://www.ramboll.co.uk/projects/viewproject?projectid=1CBC2B3B-1E3C-412C-BCCC-28FABDD7F7C2. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "'Blinking-eye' bridge lands award". BBC News. 11 June 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2038662.stm. Retrieved 27 February 2010. "Gateshead's 'blinking-eye' bridge has landed a major honour."
- Gateshead City Council: Delivery and Opening
- "Tilting bridge opens eye to the world". BBC News. 17 September 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1545986.stm. Retrieved 24 September 2008.
- "Streaker mars royal tour". BBC News. 7 May 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1972813.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2008.
- Structurae database
- "'Blinking-eye' bridge lands award". BBC News. 11 June 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2038662.stm. Retrieved 24 September 2008.
- "Gateshead Millennium Bridge". IStructE. http://www.istructe.org/stephenscityscape/gateshead_millennium_bridge.aspx. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- Outstanding Structure Award IABSE
- "Final River Tyne bollard removed". BBC News. 16 March 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-17403849. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
|Bridges and crossings on the River Tyne|
|High Level Bridge||Swing Bridge||Tyne Bridge||Gateshead Millennium Bridge||Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel||Tyne Road Tunnels||Shields Ferry|