Gateshead Millennium Bridge under repair

The Northern Echo: Gateshead Millennium Bridge Gateshead Millennium Bridge

REPAIRS to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge after it was damaged by the tidal surge earlier this month are expected to continue into the New Year.

More than 80,000 litres of flood water entered the plant and control rooms of the tilting Tyneside landmark on December 5 as the River Tyne reached its greatest heights since the mid-19th Century.

The incoming water caused extensive damage to electrical equipment but does not appear to have harmed the bridge’s hydraulics.

Owners and operators Gateshead Council are warning that repairs are expected to last into the New Year with a return to full operation currently expected for the end of January.

Some of the damaged components on the main control panel that need to be replaced are being sourced direct from specialist manufacturers in Holland and the United States with a six week production and delivery time.

Gateshead Council service director of construction, Victoria Beattie said: “The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is an iconic part of the Tyne landscape and it is important that it is returned to full working order as quickly as possible.

“Our staff have been working hard to dry out and assess the damage but unfortunately some of the specialist components required to complete repairs just simply aren’t held in stock anywhere. That means that we have no choice but to wait for them to be produced and shipped to us.

“The flooding was reckoned to be the highest on the Tyne since the 1860s. These were conditions that we could never have replicated under test. Nevertheless if there are any lessons that can be learnt, we will do.”

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