Used by pedestrians and bicycles, Newport City footbridge (also known as the Newport Millennium bridge) crosses the River Usk between George Street bridge to the south and the old Town bridge to the north.
The bridge links Rodney Parade on the east bank, to University Plaza on the west bank. It was the first major public project in Newport Unlimited’s plans to regenerate the city.
The bridge stands at 229 ft (70 m) above ground, and spans 476 feet (145 m). It was officially opened on 12 September 2006 (also the centenary of Newport Transporter Bridge)
The bridge deck is fitted with 178 lights, which by viewing from a moving vehicle from either the north or south at night, gives the illusion of a ‘light chase’, as though the lights are going on and off in a sequence. This is created by the slits in the side railings, under the deck handrails. It’s a bit like a ‘zoetrope’ effect.
As part of the city’s “Big Splash” festival in 2010, French circus star Olivier Roustan performed the highest ever wirewalk in Europe, along the top cable of the footbridge.
Over the past few years, the bridge, like many others in the world, has been phenomenon of people leaving padlocks attached to the walkway steel wires. Known as ‘Love Locks’, some bear the names of couples. Some have symbols, like the Chinese Yin Yang. One marks Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s visit to the city (where allegedly Kurt proposed to Courtney following one of her band’s gigs at TJ’s nightclub).
The Festival of Lights parade in 2015. Lanterns and flares are carried across the bridge.