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Historic bridge set for spectacular new lighting feature

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ONE of the Tees Valley’s best-known landmarks is set to light up the night sky.

A new lighting system will illuminate the Grade II listed Newport Bridge in an array of colours, like other famous structures across the country and beyond.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is installing the system – powered by LED lamps – to complement the existing lighting along the riverside and Infinity Bridge.

Installation work will start on Monday (June 19) and is expected to be completed by mid-September.

In preparation for the work starting, the bridge will be closed to all traffic from 8pm on Sunday (June 18) and will reopen at 5.30am on Monday morning.

Two-way traffic across the bridge will then be maintained for the vast majority of the installation programme, though it will be restricted to one lane in both directions.

There will be a small number of full closures of the bridge, but these will be restricted to overnight or off peak times.

Councillor Mike Smith, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Newport Bridge is a spectacular structure which dominates the skyline above the River Tees.

“The new lighting will show the bridge at its very best. We already have lighting schemes along the riverside and Infinity Bridge and have found them to be very well received by local people.

“The installation of the new lighting, which is energy efficient and environmentally friendly, has been timed to coincide with the replacement of the bridge’s highway lighting.

“Some traffic management will be necessary during the work but we do not expect it to cause major disruption and will of course do all that we can to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

Newport Bridge was opened in 1934 as a “lifting bridge” which lifts horizontally between two towers supported on wire ropes at each end of the span.

Teesside iron and steel works, Dorman Long, fabricated the steel for the bridge.

Originally 12 men were employed to man the bridge around the clock and during the 1940s and 50s and average of 800 vessels per year would pass beneath it.

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