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Published 12th Jun 2014

Rio Niteroi Bridge March 1974

Juninho and Albert Adomah won’t be the only prominent Teesside links on show as the World Cup kicks off this week.

Researchers on the £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund supported Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project have uncovered hundreds of images at Teesside Archives of the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, built by Cleveland Bridge and Redpath Dorman Long and one of Host City Rio’s main transport connections for millions of fans attending the World Cup Finals.

Constructed in the early 1970s by a consortium of companies with Cleveland Bridge and Redpath Dorman Long as the main contractors, the Bridge spans 14 kilometres across the Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro and was the fifth longest road crossing in the world when opened in 1974.

Connecting Rio and Niteroi, the structure was hailed as ‘a striking example of Anglo-Brazilian co-operation’.

The Teesside Archives’ Cleveland Bridge Collection material includes documents reporting on the history of the bridge, diagrams, maps and hundreds of photographs of the bridge during construction.

A selection of the images will be available to view on the Transporter Bridge’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages, with plans in the long-term to work with Teesside Archives to catalogue, digitise and promote the unique bridge and engineering collection for use in education activities.

Teesside University History student Tim Butler, who is working on the Project as part of the Teesside University BOOST Summer Placements Programme, said: “The Teesside Archives images provide a unique insight into bridge building history.

“The hundreds of photographs show the bridge at various stages and also include images of Rio, the iconic Guanabara Bay and many construction workers.

“It is fascinating to learn how two local firms played such a vital role in building the Rio-Niteroi Bridge which is one of the main links for fans visiting the World Cup in Rio and will feature on televisions broadcasts to millions across the globe.”

Tees Transporter Bridge Education, Learning and Events Officer Tosh Warwick said: “From South Bank to Sydney and Ruswarp to Rio, the yet to be catalogued Cleveland Bridge Collection spans the world and is an important resource in understanding the central role the Tees Valley played in connecting communities across the world.

“We are absolutely delighted that through working with the staff at Teesside Archives and the Teesside University BOOST programme we are able to share a small selection of the material with the wider public.”

The ‘Bridging the World’ Exhibition featuring other Cleveland Bridge and Dorman Long structures across the world including Sydney Harbour Bridge continues at the Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre alongside the Remembering Our War Exhibition (running until Sunday, June 22).

• For more information on the Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project visit www.teestransporterbridge.com, www.facebook.com/transporterbridge or www.twitter.com/teestransporter






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