- The bridge was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and engineers, Gifford and Partners.
- Built by Harbour and General.
- The bridge links new arts and cultural developments on Gateshead
Quays on the south bank of the River Tyne with Newcastle Quayside on
- It will use a world first tilting mechanism to open, turning on pivots.
- Its opening will resemble the opening and closing of a giant eyelid.
- It is the only purpose built bridge for cyclists across the river
and joins two cross country riverside cycleways which are part of a
- The bridge will pivot open for tall shipping to pass through.
- It weighs more than 850 tonnes.
- Built on 19,000 tonnes of concrete plus 650 tonnes of steel re-inforcement.
- It has a total span of 413 feet (126 metres) wide and a manufactured
tolerance of 1/8th of an inch (3mm).
- It rises 164 feet (50 metres) above river level and its foundations
go down 98 feet (30 metres) to anchor it to the river bed.
- The bridge will open for shipping to pass through.
- The bridge uses a world first tilting mechanism to open, turning on
pivots on both sides of the river to form a gateway arch. Its opening
will resemble the opening and closing of a giant eyelid.
- Two concrete piers on each side of the river hide the massive hydraulic
rams, pivots and motors which will open the bridge.
- Each opening or closing will take four minutes.
- It is powered by 8 electric motors totalling 440 kilowatts.
- The design is so energy efficient it costs just £3.60 each
time it opens.
- Aluminated at night with multi coloured lights.
- Litter dropped on the bridge automatically rolls into special traps
every time it opens.
- The steel piles in the river are designed to prevent it being hit
and can withstand a collision from a 4,000 tonne ship travelling at
- Almost half the total cost of the £22m project was met by a
grant of £9.2m from the Millennium Commission.
- The design incorporates a pair of steel arches, one the deck for
pedestrians and cyclists, the other supporting it by suspension cables.