1901. The steam boiler was replaced with an electric motor in the same location. The lift was installed in Tower 2 – this had not been possible before because of the lack of electrical power. The stairway was moved to Tower 1.
1937. June 16th. During the Spanish Civil War, Republican army engineers blew up the parabolic cable housings on the Getxo side in a controlled explosion to make the bridge temporarily unusable by enemy troops. The main cross-piece fell into the river.
1939-1941. Reconstruction of the Bizkaia Bridge, to a design by the engineer José Juan Aracil. The parabolic cables, the decking, the suspension system, the winch, the gondola and the anchor block on the Getxo side were replaced. The only two major changes to the original design were to the beam and its suspension system: the mixed suspension system using vertical suspenders and sloping wires which was typical of the first generations of suspension bridges was replaced, doing away with the sloping wires; the original cross strutting was also replaced with warren trusses, which had the advantage of generating less secondary stresses. The old machine shed was dismantled and the slightly smaller new one installed in a large structure higher up. The electric motor was replaced with a new one. This is the only time the bridge has been closed in its 125-year history.
1941. Restoration was completed and the bridge reopened.
1945. Driving cab on the gondola removed. A cab was fitted on the pillars on the Getxo side on the deck, adjoining the machine shed.
1964. Gondola replaced with a new one designed according to aerodynamic criteria and techniques, using marine corrosion-resistant materials.
1991. Lighting system installed for night-time shows, with more than 500 light fittings.
1996. A programme of urgent work was begun, to remove ancillary parts in a very poor state, reinforce others, carry out emergency repairs and add the ancillary features necessary to go ahead with the following general repairs: removing the old movable platform, repairing the carriage, balancing the tension in the gondola cables, replacing cast iron pulleys with polyethylene ones, repairing numerous rails, building a motorised auxiliary carriage (platform), replacing the stairs in the towers and restoring the anchor block in Portugalete.
1997. New work was undertaken, with highlights including: construction of a second moving platform, construction of a climbing carriage to repair cables, reinforcement of 106 rails, installation of welded continuous rail, removal of 1,050 reflectors and 29,000 kg of cables and electrical apparatus, painting the whole bridge, reinforcing cables in 29 places and changing bolts and fittings.
1998-1999. The following work was undertaken: compartments on the lower level, rail track, new gondola, main carriage, new boarding rooms, automation of functions through a control room, pedestrian walkway, panoramic lifts to reach the pedestrian walkway, lighting, replacement of stairs in the tower and installation of a lifeline.
2000. The following jobs were done: repair of top cables, partial repainting, minor structural repairs, restoration of the under-deck structure.
2001. New lightweight lighting was installed.
2002. Load abutment criteria were corrected and antifriction wheels tested.