A day like today, 22 May, but in 1964, the Bizkaia Bridge changed its old gondola for a new, bigger one resistant to the marine corrosion. During its 125 years of history, this first transporter bridge in the world has evolved slowly into a reference as a hanging bridge.
The basic structure consists of four 61 metres tall iron towers that constitute the pillars of the Bridge, linked to each other by a 160-meter-long crossbar situated 45-meter-high over the level of high tide.
A curious fact is that its nickname of hanging bridge is not due to the suspension of the gondola, but refers to the upper horizontal crossbar, from which the gondola hangs, “it gravitates ” between the towers from 70 steel cables called hangers. The structure is not in fact welded or riveted to the towers or pillars, but only held for these hangers, which bear much of the weight.
The current gondola, which dates from 1998, has capacity for 6 vehicles and 200 passengers, and its structure hangs from a 25-meter-long trolley with 36 wheels that moves along the rails of the horizontal crossbar.
Finally, we can tell you that the trip between the two sides of the estuary currently takes one and a half minutes; the frequency of transfer is every eight minutes. A short trip which if you still haven’t experienced. You can’t miss!