Iconic Transporter Bridge reopens with a little help from the Ryder Cup and Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)

By Ben Miller | 30 July 2010
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A photo of a bridge from a field

Newport's famous Transporter Bridge (above) has reopened thanks to the Ryder Cup

When Europe attempt to win golf's Ryder Cup back from the US in October, Colin Montgomerie and his team will be competing in a city about as far removed as possible from previous venue Kentucky.

Newport, Wales's third most populated city, is currently at the centre of the 2020 Vision, a splurge of more than 150 regeneration projects costing around £2 billion.

One of the schemes, the £1.225 million restoration of the city's 104-year-old Transporter Bridge, has come about as a direct result of the Ryder Cup plan, reopening today as one of only eight structures of its kind in the world.

A photo of a bridge over a river at sunset

Glorious views from the bridge at sunset

A crack team of 12 abseiling painters spent six months being dangled from the 242-foot towers of the Grade I-listed bridge, repainting four miles of steel in the process.

Given the bridge's volatile past, the attention was probably overdue – in 1984 it was hijacked by a group of picketing miners, and in the 1960s a local businessman attempted to sell the Bridge to American buyers who wanted to reposition it by Niagara Falls.

"The Transporter Bridge is a Newport landmark and a magnificent reminder of our history and heritage, particularly as we look forward to hosting the Ryder Cup," reflected Matthew Evans, the leader of Newport City Council.

A photo of a bridge

A dozen abseiling painters spruced up the 104-year-old icon

"Being one of the only bridges like it in the world makes this reopening even more significant. We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Bridge."

Travellers can whizz over the River Usk on electric gondolas or cross a public walkway for panoramic views of the region from the bridge, which was opened by the Newport Male Voice Choir, city mayor Bill Langsford and the local rapper and singer behind Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind), the modern-day ode which has become a YouTube phenomenon. The revamped icon is likely to prove just as popular.

The Ryder Cup starts on October 1. Watch the video to hit track Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind) below:

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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