The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a sloping bridge that spans the River Tyne. It is the first inclined bridge and the only pendulum bridge in the world, consisting of two curved structures: the bridge body and the bridge arch. Whenever the bridge is raised to allow ships to pass underneath, it is like the eyelids slowly opening, hence the name "Blink Eye."
The bridge can be rotated utilizing pressure suction machines at both ends to allow passing small boats to pass. This innovative technology also won its designers the prestigious Stirling Architecture Design Award in 2002.
The long bridge deck is parabolic in elevation. It carries a pedestrian footway that varies from 3m to 5m in width and a 2.5m cantilevered cycleway. This unique crossing for pedestrians and cyclists has become a new landmark for Gateshead and the River Tyne. Let's learn more details about the size of the bridge in this article.
Description of Gateshead Millennium Bridge Size
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge consists of two steel arches: a fixed arch that spans the River Tyne and a deck of the pedestrian and cycle path that can be rotated upwards at a 45-degree angle. The rotating pedestrian bridge usually spans the river horizontally. Small-sized ships can pass directly under the pedestrian bridge. When a larger ship cannot pass directly, the curved swing bridge can be raised 45 degrees to allow it to pass smoothly.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is controlled by six 45cm diameter pumps, three on each side, each with a 55kW electric motor. Ships up to 25 meters (82 feet) in height can pass under the bridge; the bridge has a base of 98 feet deep. The bridge rotates from closed to open in as little as 4.5 minutes, depending on wind speed. About 19,000 tons of concrete and countless steel bars were used in its construction, so the bridge is strong enough to withstand the collision of a 4,000-ton ship traveling at 4 knots.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge Dimensions
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge weighs more than 800 tons and stretches 126 meters (413 feet) long across the River Tyne, 8 meters (26 feet) wide. The top of the arch stands 50 meters (164 feet) above the river when in its normal state. Its main span measures 105 meters.
|Total Length||126 m (413 ft)|
|Width||8 m (26 ft)|
|Longest Span||105 m (344 ft)|
|Height||50 m (164 ft) (normal)|
|Navigational Clearance||25 m (82 ft)|
The lighting design for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is based on light sources with low energy consumption and high lifetime and focuses on avoiding light pollution. The bridge's main arch is illuminated with a narrow-beam light source with color-changing technology. These light sources create a color gradient effect that makes the bridge's lines more fluid and graceful. The green LED lights are embedded in the ground to indicate "running" in the form of arrows, and the red LED lights to indicate that entry is prohibited, with a warning sound to remind pedestrians and bicycles that the curved swing bridge is about to be lifted.