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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Landmark bridge on the move
Slip Bridge

A landmark bridge that has stood on Swansea's foreshore for nearly 100 years has been removed in a complex operation using heavy lifting cranes.

A crowd gathered as the Slip Bridge near the Guildhall was lowered onto a giant trailer and driven away under police escort for much needed repairs.

There had been fears the structure, which once spanned the Mumbles Railway line, would be pulled down for good.

But the council said once it has been strengthened, it will be put back.

The Slip Bridge has been an important pedestrian crossing and landmark in the city for almost 100 years
Councillor Mike Hedges

The extent of the work needed is not yet known but a full survey will now be carried out.

Swansea Council said it was impractical to do the work where the bridge stood as it would have led to long disruptions on the busy Oystermouth Road.

Instead the dual carriageway was closed to traffic on Sunday morning as contractors lifted the iron structure off its stone supports.

Conditions were ideal with hardly a breath of wind in the air and there was burst of applause from the crowd as the bridge was lowered onto the back of a giant trailer after hours of work.

It was then slowly driven away to the Recreation Ground at the side of St Helen's rugby and cricket stadium.

Slip Bridge
The Slip Bridge has been on the foreshore for almost 100 years.

A campaign was launched last year following rumours that the council was to scrap the bridge because it was too costly to maintain.

But Mike Hedges, cabinet member for technical services, said there was no doubt it would be put back.

He said: "The Slip Bridge has been an important pedestrian crossing and landmark in the city for almost 100 years.

"It is in need of renovation, and a full inspection will be carried out to establish the exact nature of the work involved."

He said this could not be carried while the bridge was still in place.

"That is why we have decided to temporarily remove it," he added.

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