The low banks on either side of the Tees presented a complicated challenge to the designers. A simple road bridge would be too low to allow ships to pass under it. As this drawing shows, the solution was a ‘vertical lift’ bridge that lifted the road into the air allowing ships to pass along the Tees underneath it. It was last lifted for ships in 1990, but is still used by thousands of vehicles every day.
The bridge’s iconic form can be seen for miles and, along with the Transporter bridge has become a symbol of the Tees Valley’s industrial heritage and identity.
Image courtesy of Middlesbrough Museum Service