The bridge was developed as part of the Tyne and Wear Metro system, for which it was purpose-built. It was designed by W. A. Fairhurst and Partners, and constructed by Cementation Construction Ltd. and the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company at a cost of £4.9 million. The two sections of the bridge were built simultaneously from each bank and eventually met in the centre in August 1978. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 6 November 1981, nine days before regular Metro service began. It is similar to Ballachulish Bridge on the A82 which opened in 1975, which was also built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company.
It was one of two major bridges built specifically for the Tyne and Wear Metro, the other being the Byker Viaduct crossing the Ouseburn valley.
In 2006, Nexus, operators of the Metro, commissioned artist Nayan Kulkarni to install a huge artwork on the bridge. The artwork, Nocturne, sees the bridge painted two distinct tones of blue, while at night, 140 Lumiflood 36 LED lighting units create an ever-changing pattern of colours based on photographs submitted by members of the public.
Nocturne was completed and opened on 26 April 2007 and means that all five main bridges across the Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle have unique lighting schemes.
Description courtesy of Wikipedia.
4th November 2021
From Hawthorn Square.
A unique view of the bridge spoiled a little by the low autumn sun.
12th August 2021
21st September 2020
16th June 2020
28th May 2020
13th January 2020
27th December 2018
20th July 2018
8th January 2018
20th September 2017
9th July 2014
16th January 2012
10th December 2008
13th September 2008
10th October 2007
25th April 2007
20th January 2006
12th January 2006
20th December 2005
Nocturne artworkA kaleidoscope of colours was unveiled above the River Tyne as Britain's biggest light artwork shone out. Nocturne, a 360-metre creation by artist Nayan Kulkarni burst into life over Newcastle and Gateshead's historic quaysides.
The £300,000 project, which is longer than three football pitches will illuminate the Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge for at least the next 15 years.
Its low-energy LED lights will never repeat the same combination of colours as pre-programmed barcodes create colours rippling across the structure - rising and falling in intensity and brightness to match the ebb and flow of the tide below.
- Wikipedia - Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
- Co-Curate - Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
- Bridges On The Tyne - Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
- Nexus - 'Nocturne' by Nayan Kulkarni
My other photos of bridges on the Tyne: