In 1824, the original 960 foot long timber bridge provided Hayling Island with its first permanent dry connection to Langstone, replacing the wadeway as the main link to the mainland. Construction of the bridge was helped by the importance of developing the Portsmouth to London canal link, which required a deep channel to be cut into the historic wadeway so that vessels could pass.
The wooden bridge was built on piles of African Oak and other timbers and had a 40ft swing section in the centre to allow for vessels to pass beneath. The 1824 bridge was described, in it’s time, as “One of the finest structure of the kind in the Kingdom”.
Motor vehicles had to stop to pay a toll at the bridge, which could not take heavy loads. Such was the fragility of the construction that bus passengers were required to disembark and walk whilst the bus crossed the bridge unladened.
Today Hayling is served by a single dry crossing to the mainland in the form of the modern road bridge. This two lane, concrete construction was opened in 1956, 5 months ahead of schedule and forms part of the A3023 to Havant.