WORK to renovate one of the region’s most famous landmarks is now underway.
Construction has started on a new viewing area at Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge.
Installation of the new Winding House Viewing Area and a revamp of the attraction’s visitor centre are part of plans to improve the visitor experience at the bridge, one of Teesside’s most popular tourist attractions.
The glass panelled viewing area will give visitors chance to better see the workings and mechanisms of the world-famous bridge, which celebrated its centenary in 2011.
Work on the viewing area is the first phase in a major renovation project which is being funded as part of a £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund grant awarded last year.
The Winding House will be further improved with interactive lighting panels that allow visitors to illuminate different areas.
Accompanying audio and text commentary will provide further insight into the workings of the Transporter, which is used by thousands of pedestrians and drivers every year and is one of only six bridges of its kind in the world.
A revamp of The Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre, which was opened by Fred Dibnah in 2000, will see the installation of state-of-the-art technology, interactive games and exhibits as well as a webcam operating facility by the end of 2013.
The £2.6m grant will also fund work on the bridge itself. Next year, two glass lifts will be fitted that will lead up to a new bridge walkway. The bridge’s gondola will be restored and an extensive education, learning and events programme will be introduced.
Tosh Warwick, Tees Transporter Bridge education, learning and events officer, said: “These developments will not only cement the bridge’s place as a leading visitor attraction, but will also ensure that people of all ages will be able to experience and learn from the area’s manufacturing and engineering heritage.
“The range of new resources, activities and events will put the bridge firmly in the forefront as one of the region’s key learning and community locations.”
The Transporter will stay open throughout the renovation work. More information about the bridge can be found at middlesbrough.gov.uk/transporterbridge.