media release

Eye-Opening New Bridge

All eyes in the North East of England are on a unique new bridge which has been covered with coatings supplied by Akzo Nobel.

The GBP 22 million Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the first in the world to open and close like a blinking eye, has been purpose-built as a cycle way and footpath across the River Tyne, linking Gateshead and Newcastle.

The 850 ton structure, which is 126 meters wide, uses a tilting mechanism to open and rotate upwards, allowing vessels up to 25 meters high to pass underneath.

Due to be opened to the public later this year, the bridge has been covered with 12,500 liters of paint supplied by International Protective Coatings. The steel structure was coated inside and out with an offshore specification, including Interzone 505 and Interthane 990.

The first opening bridge to be built across the Tyne for more than 100 years, the official opening ceremony will be staged next year, although no date has yet been set for the bridge to start tilting to allow river traffic to pass through.

(Released: April 20, 2001)