Bridges On The Tyne


When the first Redheugh Bridge was found to be unsound the director's of the bridge company decided on a new bridge. Sandeman and Moncrieff did the design and the engineer was Sir Benjamin Baker. Experienced builders Arrol's were responsible for the construction which commenced in 1897 and was beset by delays not unlike the previous bridge but was completed in 1901. There were three river piers supporting four truss girder spans which were built out from the piers around the structure of the old bridge. To replace the old structure hydraulic jacks were used - two to a span - to push the bridge structure slightly to the west so that it sat on the new piers. The old bridge structure could then be removed. Three months later in August 1901, the bridge was opened, tolls again being levied on users. Mine workings in Gateshead's Redheugh colliery were possibly responsible for the movement at the Gateshead side of the bridge, but fortunately the slippage ceased and the only some timber support was required for the girders, later replaced by steel.

Traffic begn to increase after the First World War and this aided toll revenue. The bridge had only the congested High Level with which to compete for road traffic and bus service expansion benefited the bridge revenues, but with the opening of the toll-free Tyne Bridge in 1928 and the subsequent drop in tolls, the bridge company was recommended to accept the offer of the Corporations of Newcastle and Gateshead to purchase the bridge for 151,000. The bridge was finally sold to the Corporations in 1937 when tolls were withdrawn. In post-war years the bridge weight limit proved inadequate as loads increased and a new bridge again became necessary. The approach roads were also a hindrance,with gradients at each end and a low railway bridge at the Newcastle approach which prevented double deck buses from using the bridge. At the Gateshead side a five road junction controlled by traffic lights led to delays. Animals were regularly taken across the bridge to the cattle market in Newcastle causing serious hold-ups. This bridge closed when the new Redheugh Bridge opened in 1983 and it was then demolished. Three smaller pictures of Redheugh bridge 2 being demolished are courtesy of Norman MacKillop

 Old Redheugh Bridge 2 Facts

Constructed - 1897-1901
Type - beam, 4 spans.
Position - 400 yards west of King Edward Bridge.
Grid Ref - NZ 245 632
 Old Redheugh Bridge 2 (and new)

© Bridges On The Tyne 2006