The Newport Bridge is 90!

by Matt Falcus

After the Transporter Bridge, the most iconic structure spanning the River Tees is undoubtedly the Newport Bridge, which this week reached its 90th birthday.

Opened on 28th February 1934, the structure known officially as the Tees (Newport) Bridge links Newport in the southern part of Middlesbrough to Stockton-on-Tees, near Haverton Hill and Portrack.

Prior to its construction, those wishing to cross here had to take a ferry, or face a long overland journey south to Thornaby.

However, the Tees at the time of its construction was still busy with shipping traffic heading to and from the port and shipyards of Stockton, so the road crossing had to take this into consideration.

The result was a bridge where the central span of roadway could lift up to permit ships through.




With lots of local pride over the new bridge, which was constructed by Dorman Long using the skills of many local people and Teesside steel, the Newport Bridge was officially opened by Prince Albert, Duke of York, and his wife Elizabeth.

They would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and were the parents of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Scenes of them passing over the bridge show how different the Newport area of Middlesbrough looked then compared to now, with terraced houses and industry lining the approach roads.

Today, a large roundabout and the busy A66 motorway cover this area.



With the number of large ships vastly reduced, in the late 1980s an Act of Parliament requiring the bridge to be lifted for ships was repealed.

On 18 November 1990, it lifted for the final time.

Despite the lifting mechanisms being decommissioned, the Newport Bridge remains a busy roadway linking Stockton and Middlesbrough, and it has been continually maintained.

Over the years it has appeared in various paint colours, from red and silver to green and back again. It has also been lit up majestically at night.


The pictures in this article have been uniquely coloured by local historian, broadcaster and author Paul Menzies and showcase the Newport Bridge under construction and in its early days.

They are taken from the book Middlesbrough – A Colourful Past, out now. Order Your Copy Here

Middlesbrough – A Colourful Past

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