Κυριακή, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle

Blinking eye bridge



The bridge takes its place at the end of a line of distinguished bridges across the River Tyne, including the Tyne Bridge and Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge.
Linking Gateshead with Newcastle via Gateshead Quays (described as one of the best places in Europe by Tony Blair) and Newcastle's Quayside, the bridge not only serves a functional purpose as the River Tyne's only foot and cycle bridge, but its grace and engineering attract people from all over the world. 
The 130m long deck is parabolic in elevation and of steel box section that tapers in plan towards the centre of the deck. It carries a pedestrian footway that varies from 3m to 5m in width as well as a 2.5m cantilevered cycleway. 

The main arch is also parabolic in shape and tapers both in plan and elevation.
Six 450mm diameter Hydraulic rams (three on each side, each powered by a 55kW electric motor) rotate the bridge back on large bearings to allow small ships and boats (up to 25m tall) to pass underneath. The bridge takes as little as 4.5 minutes to rotate through the full 40° from closed to open, depending on wind speed. Its appearance during this manoeuvre has led to it being nicknamed the "Blinking Eye Bridge".

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