Biscay Transporter Bridge, Bilbao

H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia

Charles Smith of Hartlepool Ironworks conceived the transporter bridge. His idea was taken up by Ferdinand Arnodin, who constructed the first ever transporter bridge in Bilbao, 1893. The bridge has a rigid and tall structure (gantry) spanning the bay, from which a gondola is suspended, capable of carrying vehicles and pedestrians across the bay. There is also an overhead walkway, some 50 metres above the ground and the river. The advantage of the design is that it allows the free passage of ships underneath, and yet does not require a long approach to the bridge itself.

Photograph courtesty of Noelle Hommedieu.

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