Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue August 04 2015

Wales Has A Very Tall, Very Weird, Very Wonderful Bridge

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | August 04, 2015

Wales Has A Very Tall, Very Weird, Very Wonderful Bridge

Image via YouTube

Today we learned that Wales has a very big, very tall, very weird bridge.

Tom Scott posted a couple of videos from his trip to the River Usk in Newport, South East Wales.

The first of which goes into great detail about the set of circumstances behind a bridge that resembles some extravagant and very slow moving swing ride.

What looks like an as-yet unfinished structure has been in place since 1906. Its Wikipedia page states it is one of eight remaining structures with this kind of build.

And according to Scott, crossing the bridge can mean two entirely different experiences. Here is what a low tide and archaic bridge technology will get you at the turn of the century:

As Scott explains, the tide ranges for the River Usk are extreme. At low tide, the river wouldn’t allow a boat or ferry to dock at a useful portion in the area—unless tour groups didn’t mind slogging through mud to get to shore.

Scott continues that any bridge, using technology at the time, would have had to have been built miles long.

The solution is, well, this strange contraption that has been squiring people across the river for over a century.

The tourist attraction seems like a worthwhile trip, especially according to some comments on TripAdvisor: “We walked across the top, spent ages chatting to the engineer in the engine room, and came back via the gondola. We'd do it all again tomorrow.”

As we said, gliding through the air at a sensible pace might be serene, but it seems the trek over the top of this bridge is something altogether different.

Scott posted this video that illustrates the adventure for someone who is “good with heights.”

Maybe it’s the tiny river below or the bridge itself, which looks as if it is seven months from being completed, but this relatively short walk looks like an extreme endeavor.

And to think Scott has even been to places like the sobering Pulpit Rock in Norway.

It seems it takes a wonderful little bridge in Wales to really get the heart pumping.

Visit Wales offers some numbers to go along with the stunning views: “The Newport Transporter Bridge is arguably the finest of its kind, the towers standing 645 feet apart and rising 242 feet above road level. It is electrically powered, the gondola being pulled across by a cable wound round a drum in the motor house on the East bank at a maximum speed of 10 feet per second.”

So you can head on out to Newport for a rare ride across the expanse of the River Usk. Or, if you are the brave sort that doesn’t mind high-wire antics, you can walk it.

Either seems like a generally swell use of your time.

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