Millennium Bridge, Newcastle-Gateshead


ISO 100/1/200sec/f5.6

The unique tilting Millennium Bridge was lowered into place in 2001 using a giant floating crane. When tilting it is a bit like an eyelid blinking. Two concrete piers – not visible on my photo – hide massive hydralic rams, pivots and motors. Each opening takes four minutes. 8 electric motors of 440kw drive the tilting – more power than the fastest sports car. It’s 413 feet wide built to an accuracy of a few millimetres!

It was designed by Wilkingson Eyre Architects/Gifford & Partners and built by Gateshead company, Harbour & General. It is for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge is lit up with changing colours during darkness. The quayside now is a very popular cultural/leisure magnet with the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on the right of the photo. The Sage concert hall/music centre is behind me as I took the photo. There are bars and restaurants on the Newcastle side (far side in the pic). There are often open air events here too, including athletic events.

I often do a short circular walk starting at the Sage, walk over the Millennium Bridge, turn towards the Tyne Bridge and walk along the Newcastle quayside (market day on Sunday!) over the Swing Bridge and back to the centre of Gateshead. There are many alternative routes and you can walk towards the coast on the north side. There is also the C2C cycle route.



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