This superb bridge served the needs of the Tees-side region until the early 1970s, carrying the main thrust of traffic across the river Tees.
Eventually a new high level bridge was constructed to speed up the traffic and free the ever increasing congestion at Newport bridge.
When the bridge was built in the 1930's, there were several shipyards building 10'000 tonne, steel ships, up-river from here.
This, of course dictated that the Newport bridge would have to be designed to allow the passage of these new ships from the yards.
The whole structure between the girder style columns was designed to lift in a vertical direction by means of massive winches driven by powerful electric motors under the control of a skilled bridge-man.
This river traffic dwindled to a slow but inevitable end when ship-building ceased in the 1960's. However, the bridge continued to be kept ready for river traffic to comply with the law.
It took an act of parliament to give consent to allow the bridge owners to modify the construction of the bridge to permanently fix it so that it can never be lifted again.
Following this permanent fixing of the structure, it was no longer necessary to carry out the extremely costly maintenance of the winching system and it gave the bridge a new lease of life.
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