Wales

Swansea's Bascule Bridge lifted and moved for restoration

Crane lifts bridge section from its footings Image copyright Swansea Council
Image caption A crane lifted a section of the bridge from its footings

A 110-year-old landmark bridge in Swansea has been lifted to be taken for restoration.

Preparation work has been under way for weeks and the Bascule Bridge near the Liberty Stadium was moved on Sunday.

More than 20 workers, a 53m (174ft) crane and and a truck performed the manoeuvre.

The 70-tonne Grade II listed bridge will then be assessed and restored at Afon Engineering, Swansea Vale, and re-installed next year.

Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption The Bascule Bridge was built in 1909 to strengthen Swansea's copper industry

The bridge was pivotal to the area's time as the world copper capital, and its hinged steel structure would lift to allow for river traffic to pass through.

Robert Francis-Davies, of Swansea council, said: "This is big news for the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks area - which is undergoing an exciting regeneration - and for Swansea which is so proud of its industrial past.

"Work is essential at this time to prevent further decay and risk of loss of this Grade II listed bridge which is also an officially scheduled historic monument.

Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption The bridge has been fenced off to members of the public since 1999

"Any further delay would result in the loss of this valuable heritage that forms a critical part of Swansea's story."

Also known as the Morfa Bridge, it was built in 1909 to strengthen Swansea's copper industry by providing a rail link between the Morfa and Upper Bank works.

Due to safety concerns the bridge has been fenced off to the public since 1999, and nearby Brunel Way road bridge will shut for the work to take place.

It forms part of a project to develop a tourist destination at the copper works, including restoring the Powerhouse for use as a Penderyn Distillery visitor attraction with £3.75m of Heritage Lottery funding.

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