Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

(this bridge's architecture and function is very cool, nice use of tilt in a fantastic design)

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

(image credit:

Spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead on the south bank and Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the north, the next bridge in our journey was another of the projects commissioned for the turn of the Millennium. It is a pedestrian and cycle bridge, instead of a stereotypical automobile bridge, and its design provided designers Wilkinson Eyre (a high-profile architecture firm) with the 2002 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize.

What’s special about this bridge is its ability to allow boats and other water traffic to move underneath it, despite being relatively low to the surface of the river. Mini hydraulic rams on each side of the bridge tilt it back on special pivots, lifting the bridge out of the way of those attempting to go underneath. This move has lent the bridge a new nickname, the Blinking Eye Bridge.

This is how this bridge was put in place: manufactured a few miles down the river and transported upriver by the "Asian Hercules" (Rotterdam) floating crane.

(images credit: Longsands)

This is the only bridge that "loves you" back :)

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