Newport Transporter Bridge Refurbishment


Burroughs was engaged as a specialist consultant to contribute technical expertise and support the lead heritage and conservation designer for the restoration and redevelopment of the historic Newport Transporter Bridge, a Grade I listed structure built in 1906. An iconic landmark dominating the Newport skyline for over a century, it is one of only six operational transporter bridges worldwide.

Built to connect the expanding industries on the east side of the River Usk to the populous west side, the transporter bridge provided an efficient solution to the logistical challenges of a bustling port. The unique suspended ferry system, with a high-level boom, rail track, and a moving carriage, offered an innovative alternative to the conventional bridges of the time. As industry dynamics evolved, the bridge faced challenges, and its recent restoration aims to revitalise its heritage and turn it into a major tourist attraction.

Burroughs played a pivotal role in the Newport Transporter Bridge Restoration project by contributing specialist advice and structural expertise during the pre-construction and full construction stage. The wider scheme began with comprehensive historic research, utilising map regression and engaging with statutory bodies like CADW, Newport Council, and Gwent Consultancy, forming the basis for our involvement.

Burroughs’ have aligned with the wider project conservation approach using intervention matrices, aligned to conservation maxims including conserve as found, minimum intervention, like-for-like repairs, and reversibility. The key principles of maintenance, repair, and restoration formed the foundation of the restoration efforts. Maintenance activities involved the routine upkeep of the structure’s fabric, while repair efforts focused on adapting, modifying, and replacing elements beyond maintenance, aligned with the original design and material intent. Restoration, the return of elements to their original form, function, or condition, was pursued with a keen eye on historical accuracy.

Burroughs’ have deployed their technical expertise, seeking to strike a balance between preserving the bridge’s heritage and creating a sustainable business model. This involved feeding into strategic financial planning, potentially leveraging visitor contributions, sponsorships, and partnerships to ensure ongoing maintenance and preservation.

Our engagement included discussions on design topics, active participation in design team meetings, attendance at sampling test panels, and the development of emergency repair strategies – actively contributing to the project’s evolution, ensuring that the design and construction phases were executed with precision and adherence to industry standards.

The project is an excellent example of Burroughs’ ability to seamlessly integrate technical expertise with hands-on engagement, demonstrating a holistic approach that goes beyond conventional consultancy by actively shaping and enhancing the restoration of historically significant structures.

Client / Project TEam

Newport City Council