Le Pont Transbordeur
The gondola of the Transporter Bridge ceases to cross above the Charente due to major renovation works.
This major project led by the State can be followed this year!
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 and take a seat on a virtual gondola and relive the experience of a crossing as if you were there! Free entrance.
Opening hours of the 'Maison du Transbordeur' in 2019:
Open everyday from April to the 11th of November.
April: 9.30 -12.00 and 14.00 -18.00
May: 9.30 -12.00 and 14.00 -18.30
June / July / August*: 9.30 -12.30 and 14.00 -19.00 *Closing time at 18.00 on Thursdays
September*: 9.30 -12.00 and 14.00 -18.30 *Closing time at 18.00 on Thursdays
October to the 12nd of November: 9.30 -12.00 and 14.00 -17.30
Sentier des Guetteurs - Watchmen's path
On each bank of the river Charente, follow the 'Sentier des Guetteurs" (Watchmen's path) around the Transporter Bridge!
Discover the secrets of the Transporter Bridge and its area following these artistical creations (from April to November).
Discover the Transporter Bridge's Site!
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.
About the Transporter Bridge
Maison du Transbordeur
rue de Martrou
Phone: +33 (0)5 46 83 30 86