The Transporter bridge is open!
After four years of major renovation works, the gondola of the Pont Transbordeur will soon cross the river Charente. From may to october, the Pont Transbordeur allow cyclists and pedestrians to reach both banks of Rochefort and Échillais.
Opening hours of the Pont Transbordeur on the 29th of July, 2020:
Open everyday (except monday morning) from 29th of July the 30th of October.
From July to September: 9.30 -19.00 (closed on monday mornings)
October: 9.30 -12.30 and 14.00 -17.00 (closed on monday mornings)
Buy your tickets in the ticket office on the Rochefort's bank and in the 'Maison du Transbordeur' on the Échillais' bank.
One-way ticket: 2 €
Return ticket: 3 €
Reduced rates* (return ticket and groups up to 15 people): 2.50 €
Children from 6 to 11: 2 €
Free for children under 6
*10 crossings Card - season 2020: 12 €
*Unlimited crossings Card - season 2020: 25 €
*These cards are not yet available to sale
Maison du Transbordeur - Visitor centre
In 2003, the 'Maison du Transbordeur' (Transporter Bridge visitor centre) opened in a converted ferry boat shed, in Échillais, allowing the Transporter Bridge to become a fully-fledged tourist attraction.
Discover the history of the Transporter Bridge! New in 2020: a temporary exhibition will show you how the State of France renovated the last transporter bridge of the country.
Free entrance. This major project led by the State can be followed this year!
Opening hours of the 'Maison du Transbordeur' in 2020:
Open everyday from 22nd of June to the 30th of October.
From June to september: 9.30 -12.30 and 14.00 -19.00
October: 9.30 -12.30 and 14.00 -17.00
Sentier des Guetteurs - Watchmen's path
On each bank of the river Charente, follow the 'Sentier des Guetteurs" (Watchmen's path) around the Pont Transbordeur!
Discover the secrets of the Pont Transbordeur and its area following these artistical creations (from may to october). Free access.
Discover the Pont Transbordeur
For your safety:
- Hydroalcoholic gel available at the entrance of the museum.
- Face masks required.
- Exhibition hall in "la Maison du Transbordeur": 16 people only.
- Please follow the direction in the museum.
- No self-service in the shop of the museum.
This bridge developed by French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin and dating from 1900 provided a means of crossing from one bank to the other, without hindering shipping traffic. A gondola, suspended from a trolley running on rails, travels back and forth between Echillais and Rochefort. As well as the cyclists and foot passengers that use it today, it used to allow cars, carts and horses on board.
The Transporter Bridge of Rochefort is the last bridge of this type in France.
On 4 February at noon, the Transporter Bridge ceased to operate.
A Vertical-lift Bridge replaced it to cross the Charente river. A hidden counterweight system allowed the deck of the bridge to be raised between the concrete piers, like an enormous elevator, enabling boats to pass. The Viaduc de l'estuaire was inaugurated in 1991 to replace the vertical-lift bridge. It provided a constant thoroughfare for road vehicles, 30 metres above the River Charente.
The world of Transporter Bridges
Of the twenty or so transporter bridges that were built around the world, only eight remain today:
The Bizkaia Bridge, the world's first transporter bridge, near Bilbao (Spain),
The Martrou Transporter Bridge at Rochefort and Echillais (France),
The Transporter Bridge of La Boca in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
Having come together to form an association, the authorities that manage these Transporter Bridges have made a joint application to UNESCO to be listed as a World Heritage series.