Muelle de Río Tinto
By Saskia Mier
Muelle de Rio Tinto is a commercial dock used for the trade of material from the mines of the Rio Tinto Company Limited on the Rio Odiel. It is commonly known as the "Muelle del Tinto" but is no longer in use. It is however, a popular place for many to visit, and enjoy a walk down the 'muelle' itself or even to fish. It was declared of Cultural Interest in 2003.
The dock has a length of 1165m and 3m in width, and was built by architects,Sir George Barclay Bruce and Thomas Gibson. It was built between 1874 and 1876.
Muelle del Tinto had two platforms. Mineral trains ran on the upper platform and general goods trains ran on the lower platform.There are numerous different structural elements made of wood, rods, beams and metal pillars that were all added at different times to repair and reinforce sections of the dock.
It remained in service until May 1975 when ships began to use a new facility in the nearby port of Huelva. An estimated 150 million tons of ore has been from the Muelle over its life. A few years later it was cut into two sections as 'seafront' ( or rather an esturary fromt) road was improved and widened. During the following five years it was abandoned.
In 1980 a contest of ideas was held for the reuse of the dock, but nonw was never put into practice. There were still much larger and more modern installations in the Port of Huelva.
In 1990, the first restoration was finally carried out, principally to counter some part of the damages suffered by water. The main restoration took place in 2006 with a budget of 14 million euros.
Puente Muelle Levante
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