Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge
Queen Elizabeth II bridge and River Tyne (geograph 3639295).jpg
The Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge in 2013.
Carries Tyne and Wear Metro
Crosses River Tyne
Locale Between Newcastle and Gateshead
Official name Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
Maintained by Nexus
Design Steel truss construction with fabricated box chords[1]
Total length 360m[1]
Construction start 1976 [1]
Construction end August 1978 [2]
Opened 6 November 1981[1]

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge carries the Tyne and Wear Metro between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead over the River Tyne in northeast England. The line is in tunnel on either side of the river and only emerges into open air to cross the bridge.


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 & Partners, and constructed by Cementation Construction Ltd. and the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company at a cost of £4.9 million.[1] The two sections of the bridge were built simultaneously from each bank and eventually met in the centre.[3] It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 6 November 1981, nine days before regular Metro service began.[1]

Nocturne artwork[edit]

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[4] create an ever-changing pattern of colours based on photographs submitted by members of the public.[4]

Nocturne was completed and opened on 26 April 2007[5] and means that all five main bridges across the Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle have unique lighting schemes.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Newcastle University. "Structure Details: Queen Elizabeth II Bridge". Structural Images of the North East (SINE). Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Construction photograph of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne 1977". Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Nocturne Lighting Launched" (Press release). Lumivision Architectural Lighting. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  5. ^ "Nocturne – Britain's biggest new artwork is born" (Press release). Nexus. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Pevsner, N., Richmond, I., Grundy, J., McCombie, G., Ryder, P. and Welfare, H. (2001). The Buildings of England: Northumberland. London: Penguin Books. p. 460. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°57′54″N 1°36′50″W / 54.965°N 1.614°W / 54.965; -1.614

Next railway bridge upstream River Tyne Next railway bridge downstream
King Edward VII Bridge  Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne
Grid reference: NZ248634
High Level Bridge
(rail and road)

Next crossing upstream River Tyne Next crossing downstream
Redheugh Bridge  Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne
Grid reference: NZ248634
High Level Bridge
(rail and road)