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Tyne Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne Bridge
associated engineer
Mott Hay & Anderson
date  July 1925 - 1929 (opened 10th October 1928)
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NZ252637
ICE reference number  HEW 91
photo  Jane Joyce
The dramatic two-pin steel arch Tyne Bridge is a Newcastle landmark. When it was opened on 10th October 1928 by King George V — whose speech was recorded by Movietone News for one of their first “talkies” — it was the longest single span bridge of its type in Britain.
The bridge crosses the River Tyne in central Newcastle, accompanied by the Swing Bridge, the High Level Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It's a road bridge consisting of two parabolic trusses with Warren bracing, and is 398m long in total with an arch span of 162m. It is 17.1m wide and 59m high, with 25.6m clearance above high water, and contains some 7,100 tonnes of structural steel.
The bridge was designed by Mott Hay & Anderson with a significant contribution from Sir Ralph Freeman. It is similar to those in New York and Sydney Harbour. However, it was not the prototype for Sydney’s bridge, which was designed first.
Work began in July 1925 under contractor Dorman, Long & Co. River navigation had to be maintained at all times, hence the height of the bridge above the water, and the arch was built using supporting cables rather than falsework in the river. The two halves of the arch were joined at the pins on 25th February 1928, and then work on the deck proceeded. Gas, water and electricity are carried in service ducts beneath the roadway. The structure was completed in 1929 — when it opened officially the south tower was incomplete.
The massive north and south towers, five storeys high, at the ends of the bridge are faced with Cornish granite and house goods and passenger lifts, although these are not now in use. There are webcams atop each tower.
The bridge was unusual in being a toll-free crossing, and cost a total of £1.2 million to build — 60% funded by government.
Millennium celebrations included repainting the bridge in green, using the original paint recipe from the 1920s, and two firework displays.
Supervising engineer: Georges Camille Imbault
Main contractor: Dorman, Long & Co., Middlesborough
Painting contractor:J. Dampney & Co., Gateshead
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH North

Tyne Bridge