NEWPORT’S historic Transporter Bridge reopens this week after the completion of a £1.2 million restoration project.

A reopening ceremony will take place on Friday to celebrate to occasion.

The bridge, which is one of only a few operating transporter bridges in the world, has been fitted with new high level rails that support the travelling gondolas after they were deemed unsafe and the bridge was closed in 2008.

But thanks to a 22-strong team of painters and steelwork operatives, the bridge will be back to full working order and looking better than ever after a new lick of paint was applied to its high level boom and 242ft tall towers.

The £1.225 million restoration is one of the legacies of the The Ryder Cup city enhancement programme and was made possible thanks to a £800,000 from the Welsh Assembly, £75,000 from Cadw and £350,000 from the council.

The bridge closed more than two years ago after the high level rails supporting the gondola were deemed unsafe.

The bridge, built in 1906, is the only one of its kind in Wales, and it is believed there are only eight left including those in Middlesbrough and Warrington.

Visitors to the iconic bridge can learn about its history in the visitors’ centre, which will soon be open to the public from 10am to 4pm seven days a week.

The council also hopes to employ two guides who will show visitors around.