The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a foot and cycle bridge spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead on the south bank, and Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank. The award-winning structure was conceived by architects Wilkinson Eyre, with structural engineers Gifford and Partners.
The bridge was lifted into place in one piece by the Asian Hercules II, one of the world's largest floating cranes, on 20 November 2000. It was opened to the public on 17 September 2001. The bridge, which cost £22m to build, was part funded by the Millennium Commission and European Regional Development Fund.
Already acclaimed worldwide for its physical and aesthetic beauty, it has fast become a significant tourist attraction in its own right.
Huge hydraulic rams, one on each side, tilt the bridge back on special pivots to allow small ships and boats to pass underneath. Its appearance during this manoeuvre has led to it being nicknamed the Blinking Eye Bridge.
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