Report - - The Tees Newport Bridge - Middlesbrough - July 2014 | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Tees Newport Bridge - Middlesbrough - July 2014


Is this the future?
Regular User
The Tees Newport Bridge is the younger of the two iconic bridges across the River Tees, which passes through Teesside. After having been designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, construction began in 1931, when the first piles were driven deep into the river banks. At this stage a number of approach roads had to be constructed, and several houses were removed from the development area. The erection of the bridge was finally fully completed in February 1934, at a cost of approximately £437,000. Although the Tees Newport Bridge is often overshadowed by the Tees Transporter Bridge, which is situated in close proximity downstream, it equals its brother structure for the reason that it stands as an additional impressive and symbolic example of Teeside’s industrial precision and ingenuity; on account of the success of such an ambitious idea. Its ambitious depiction derives from the fact that the structure was designed to be raised vertically, to allow the passing of large vessels below when the area was a thriving industrial site. Yet, by the early 1970’s, amid the progressive decline of industrial era, much of the area was targeted for demolition and the call to operate a vertically lifting bridge was steadily reduced; from being used 1400 times a week at its peak, to twice a day by the 1950’s, and even less by the early 1970’s as activity in Stockton’s ports gradually ceased. By the late 1980’s the mechanical functioning of the bridge could no longer be viably justified and although it was spared, avoiding being pulled down, it was decided that bridge would be permanently bolted down. The Tees Newport Bridge subsequently made its final lift in November 1990. Since then it has remained as part of the A1032, a single carriageway that runs between Middlesbrough and Stockton/Billingham.

Regarding the bridge’s specifications, the structure was the first of its kind to be constructed in the United Kingdom, and it was the heaviest of those across the world (5,400 tons). Although it’s not the tallest or largest lifting bridge, it is 82 metres (269ft) long, its towers each extend to 55 metres (180.4ft) and it had an impressive vertical lift of 37 metres (121.3ft). Generally, the Tees Newport Bridge was operated by two separate 325 horsepower electric motors, while an additional petrol engine stood by in the event of complete electrical failure. To guarantee that the bridge remained operational, even if this was just to retrieve the bridge from its resting place 37 metres in the air, the final countermeasure involved employing twelve men who could manually raise or lower the 5,400 ton span using a winch mechanism. It was estimated that this would take approximately eight hours to carry out; as opposed to the ninety seconds it took for the electrical motors to complete the task.

Having already successfully explored the Tees Transporter Bridge and the Tuxedo Royale, we felt that it was appropriate to crack the third key location in the area – The Tees Newport Bridge. Although the sun was now beginning to settle gently on the horizon, we decided to try and beat the fading daylight and ascend the bridge before the sun entirely dipped out of sight. Although this bridge isn’t as high as the Tees Transporter, the views of the remaining industrial land are phenomenal, particularly as the sun casts its final golden glow across the river, old docks and silhouetted towers in the background. While it looks markedly impressive from the ground, when stood up in the high walkways you can’t help but admire the precision and optimism of Teesside, for the Tees Newport Bridge, with its gigantic chains, enormous steel ropes and hidden platforms, truly is an inspirational and overwhelming feat.

1: Approaching the Tees Newport Bridge


2: Beginning the Ascent


3: A View of the Bridge from the Halfway Mark


4: Looking Up at the Gantries, Walkways and Ladders


5: Giant Chains


6: Approaching the Top of the Tees Newport Bridge


7: A Quick Glance Down at the Road Below


8: The Top of the Tees Newport Bridge


9: Teesside's Remaining Industry


10: Covered Mechanical Workings at the Top


11: Looking Across to the Other Tower


12: The Tees Transporter Bridge in the Distance


13: Looking Out Across the Highest Walkway


14: Steel Ropes


15: The Steel Ropes from Further Down the Ladders


16: The Tees Newport Bridge



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice ones mate :thumb

Looks higher looking down :)

Only the Infinity Bridge left then ? best get some "Sticky boots" for that one lol


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thanks for that my home town is the Boro must have passed under the bridge countless times never got round to actually climbing it probably too old for that now so its good to see what its like up there cheers.


off the wall
Regular User
never got round to actually climbing it probably too old for that now so its good to see what its like up there cheers.
never too old!

good to see it in daylight, lovely photos there, well done.


Is this the future?
Regular User
Thanks for that my home town is the Boro must have passed under the bridge countless times never got round to actually climbing it probably too old for that now so its good to see what its like up there cheers.
It's not too bad to be honest, as long as you have a decent head for height - there are a few bits where you can feel a bit exposed.