Poole Bridge started life as a privately owned wooden bridge that was in place for 50 years from 1835. It had a steep gradient difficult for horse-drawn vehicles to negotiate.
The wooden bridge connected Poole to Hamworthy and was replaced in 1885 with an iron swing bridge structure.
Tolls were collected until 1926.
The Borough of Poole purchased the bridge and demolished it in 1926 to replace it with the lifting bridge we still have in place today, which was opened on 11 March 1927.
Poole Bridge lifts around 6,000 times a year. It provides a road link as part of the A350 and connects Poole town to the commercial port and ferry terminal.
In September 2016 the lifting bridge was cracked and worn out and repairs costing £4.2 million pounds took place. The bridge was closed for 16 months. Fortunately the Twin Sails Bridge was in place by then and could provide an optional route across Holes Bay when it was functioning.
The spectacular Twin Sails Bridge was completed in December 2011 and provided a second crossing of Poole Harbour as well as opening up a large brown-field site for development.
The bridge has an overall length of 139m including a central opening span of 23.4m and two fixed approach spans at each side.
The lifting span consists of two triangular-shaped deck units that each weighs 100 tonnes.
When lifted, the open bridge symbolises the sails of a yacht reflecting Poole’s maritime heritage.
The bridge is the world’s first triangular-leaf lifting bridge.
Since it was built Twin Sails has been dogged with problems including issues with its bearings, which had to be replaced. When out of service the bridge has to be left in the fully open position and is therefore closed to road traffic.
Twin Sails lifts around 6,000 times a year.
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