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A BIG crane will trundle into Swansea next month to lift a historic bridge which used to connect two copperworks.

Council chiefs want to restore the Bascule Bridge, which crosses the River Tawe at Morfa.

They need to lift it to see if it can be brought back to full working order.

Built in 1909, the bridge provided a railway link and also allowed masted ships to sail upriver via a weighted drum, which tilted one half of the bridge upwards at the centre.Businesses in the area have received letters from the authority about the preservation proposals, and councillors heard more at a committee meeting.

Landore councillor Mike White said he understood the crane would be in action on May 7, and the state of the bridge’s abutments could be a key issue.

He said the Swansea Community Boat Trust, which runs river cruises from Swansea Marina, was “very keen” to see the plans materialise.

The trust’s boat Copper Jack cannot pass under the bridge for safety reasons.

Addressing the committee, Swansea’s director of place Martin Nicholls said: “The current situation is for it (the bridge) to be put back in full working order so the boat can go further up the river.”

The council is exploring a number of proposals to restore the former industrial area, and has secured a £3.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to create a whisky distillery, visitor centre and offices – with Welsh firm Penderyn – at the old Hafod-Morfa Copperworks.

Charles White, chairman of Swansea Community Boat Trust, said it would be great to see the Bascule Bridge in working order.

“It is quite an iconic piece of Swansea’s industrial past,” he said.

Mr White said Copper Jack would be able to continue up to the Liberty Stadium if the bridge was safe to navigate under.

He added: “We believe there is an appropriate site for a pontoon for embarcation, almost in the shadow of the stadium.”

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