The transporter bridge linking Rochefort and Martrou across the River Charente in the commune of Échillais in south-west France is one of only 12 of its kind that remain in use. It was designed by Ferdinand Arnodin (1845-1924), who established a construction company at Chateauneuf-sur-Loire in 1872. In 1887 he developed the ideas that shaped the design of transporter bridges, although he did not build the first examples.
Construction of the Rochefort bridge began in 1898 and it was formally opened on 29 July 1900. Its towers are 66.25 m high, and its deck is 175.5 m long. It was abandoned in 1967 when a vertical lift bridge, now demolished, was built nearby, but was designated an historical monument in 1976, and refurbished from 2003. The bridge is now open during the summer months for pedestrians and cyclists and an interpretation centre, La Maison du Transbordeur, is located about 100 m away. Its displays deal with the career of Ferdinand Arnodin, the construction of the bridge and its subsequent history, other bridges in the Pays Rochefortais, and transporter bridges in an international context.