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Douglas Harbour Lifting Bridge

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Douglas Harbour Lifting Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
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Douglas Harbour
Isle of Man
Highway Authority
Isle of Man
Opening Date
1895, 1979, 2000
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Lifting Bridge
On road(s)
Looking south across the bridge

The Douglas Harbour Lifting Bridge is also called the Millennium Bridge, due to being built at the turn of the century, although it replaced an older crossing. The bridge, unlike its predecessors, is a cantilevered lifting bridge which lifts on the north bank. Indeed, it is only the northern of the two narrow spans that lifts, the southern half of the crossing now being a fixed link. This reduction in room for boats is largely due to there no longer being a need for large vessels to access the inner harbour, which is now predominantly a marina. The bridge is lifted by means of a large overhead superstructure which pivots above the small buildings either side of the roadway, with the counterweight dropping down to road level. This superstructure is painted blue and has the Manx three legged roundel prominently displayed.

Officially, the road across the bridge doesn't seem to have a number. It connects the A8, North Quay, to the A41 South Quay, and as North Quay itself is now little more than a pedestrianised street with limited vehicular access, most traffic from the A8 crosses the bridge. The roadway is two lanes with pavements on either side, and the section which lifts is painted with a yellow box. Drop-down barriers and traffic lights (rather than wig-wags, although it originally had wig-wags until 2006) stop traffic when the bridge is due to lift. There are also roundabouts on either side of the crossing, that on the north bank being Double Corner Roundabout, named due to the step in the harbour wall, while the junction on the south side is apparently un-named.


The first bridge across the harbour here opened in 1895 and was a swing bridge capable of carrying loads of up to 2 Tonnes - more than enough at the time. However, it was less suitable when vehicles started to use it. Despite this, it survived until 1959 when it was closed to traffic. The building immediately opposite the bridge on the south bank is one of the original control buildings for this bridge, another stood on the north side of the harbour. This bridge swung from the south bank and was a fairly lightweight construction with two curved trusses, infilled with latticework, forming the main structure and parapets. The deck was only about four metres wide and after it was closed to traffic there were two handrails installed along the length to assist pedestrians. Small cabins stood either side of the roadway on the north bank.

A replacement swing bridge was installed in 1979, although this was only a pedestrian bridge. The structure seems to have again been formed by two trusses either side of the deck, although old photos suggest they were taller than before, and the deck was narrower, perhaps only two metres wide. It again swung from the south bank and was removed to allow the current bridge to be installed.

Douglas Harbour Lifting Bridge
Related Pictures
View gallery (6)
Douglas Harbour Swing Bridge - Coppermine - 21230.JPGDouglas Harbour Swing Bridge - Coppermine - 21228.JPGIOM Millennium Bridge, Douglas Harbour Signals - Coppermine - 13320.JPGIOM Millennium Bridge, Douglas Harbour Signals - Coppermine - 13322.JPGDouglas Harbour Swing Bridge - Coppermine - 21229.JPG
Crossings on the Isle of Man
Rivers Dhoo & GlassRiver Dhoo: Braddan Bridge River Glass: St George's Bridge  • Quarterbridge River Douglas: Pulrose Bridge  • Douglas Bridge  • Douglas Harbour Lifting Bridge
Sulby RiverTholt-y-Will Bridge  • Sulby Bridge  • Garey Ford  • Ramsey Bridge  • Ramsey Swing Bridge
River NebBallig Bridge  • Ballaleece Bridge  • Glenfaba Bridge
Laxey RiverGlen Roy Bridge  • Laxey Bridge  • Old Laxey Bridge
Other BridgesBallaugh Bridge  • Brewery Bridge  • Governor's Bridge  • Monks Bridge  • Groudle Glen Viaduct  • Glen Maye Bridge
Douglas FerriesStranraer ferry  • Heysham ferry  • Liverpool ferry  • Birkenhead ferry  • Belfast ferry  • Dublin ferry

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