Tag Archives: Bridge

Dumbarton Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dumbarton Bridge (California)

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Opera Snapshot_2017-11-05_065321_en.wikipedia.org

The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges across San Francisco Bay in California. Carrying over 81,000 vehicles daily, it is the shortest bridge across San Francisco Bay at 1.63 miles (8,600 ft; 2,620 m). Its eastern end is in Fremont, near Newark in the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and its western end is in Menlo Park. Bridging State Route 84 across the bay, it has three lanes each way and a separated bike/pedestrian lane along its south side. Like the San Mateo Bridge to the north, power lines parallel the bridge.

Contents
1 Tolls
2 Environmental factors
3 History and engineering features
4 Roadway Connections
5 Dumbarton Rail Bridge
6 Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct

Tolls


Tolls are only collected from westbound traffic at the toll plaza on the east side of the bay. Since July 2010, the toll rate for passenger cars is $5. For vehicles with more than two axles, the toll rate is $5 per axle. Drivers may either pay by cash or use the FasTrak electronic toll collection device. There are seven toll lanes at the plaza. During peak traffic hours, the leftmost lane is designated a FasTrak-only HOV lane, allowing carpool vehicles carrying two or more people or motorcycles to pass for a toll of $2.50. The next two leftmost lanes are FasTrak-only lanes for all vehicles, and all other lanes accept both cash and FasTrak. During non-peak hours the HOV lane is open to vehicles carrying only one person, but remains FasTrak-only.

Environmental Factors


When the current bridge was planned in the 1970s, Caltrans conducted extensive environmental research on the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Principal concerns of the public were air pollution and noise pollution impacts, particularly in some residential areas of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. Studies were conducted to produce contour maps of projected sound levels and carbon monoxide concentrations throughout the western approaches, for each alternative connection scheme.

The area around the bridge is an important ecological area, hosting many species of birds, fish and mammals. The endangered species California clapper rail is known to be present in the western bridge terminus area.

Near the bridge on the Peninsula are Menlo Park’s Bayfront Park, East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood Open Space Preserve, and the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. An accessible portion of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge lies immediately north of the western bridge terminus, where the Ravenswood trail runs.

On both sides of the east end of the bridge are large salt ponds and levee trails belonging to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The headquarters and visitor center for the refuge is on a hill south of the bridge approach. North of the east end of the bridge is Coyote Hills Regional Park, with its network of trails running over tall hills. North of that is the Alameda Creek Regional Trail from the Bay to Niles Canyon. East of Coyote Hills is Ardenwood Historic Farm, a restored working farm that preserves and displays turn-of-the-century farming methods

History and Engineering Features


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The original vertical-lift span of the Dumbarton Bridge, shown in 1984 shortly before it was demolished

The bridge has never been officially named, but its commonly used name comes from Dumbarton Point, named in 1876 after Dumbarton, Scotland. Built originally to provide a shortcut for traffic originating in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the bridge served industrial and residential areas on both sides. The earlier bridge opened on January 17, 1927 and was the first vehicular bridge to cross San Francisco Bay. A portion of this old drawbridge remains as a fishing pier on the east side of the Bay. The original bridge was built with private capital and then purchased by the state for $2.5 million in 1951.

Its age and the two-lane undivided roadway and lift-span led to a replacement bridge, built to the north. This bridge opened in October 1982 as a four-lane, high-level structure. The structure was re-striped to accommodate six lanes on October 18, 1989 in response to the temporary closing of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge due to the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the permanent widening of the approaches was completed by July 2003. The cost of the complete replacement project was $200 million. The current bridge includes a two-way bicycle and separate pedestrian path on the south-facing side. A 340 ft (104 m) center span provides 85 ft (26 m) of vertical clearance for shipping. The approach spans on both sides of the Bay are of pre-stressed lightweight concrete girders supporting a lightweight concrete deck. The center spans are twin steel trapezoidal girders which also support a lightweight concrete deck. In 1970 the movie Harold and Maude was filmed at the toll plaza and showed Maude speeding and disobeying a police officer.

The center span of the original bridge was demolished in a controlled explosion in September 1984.

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A view from the air, above Palo Alto, looking towards Fremont

Roadway Connections


The bridge is part of State Route 84, and is directly connected to Interstate 880 by a freeway segment north of the Fremont end. There is no freeway connection between U.S. 101 and the southwest end of the Dumbarton Bridge. Motorists must traverse one of three at-grade routes to connect from the Bayshore Freeway to the bridge. These are (from northwest to southeast):

  1. the Bayfront Expressway, a limited-access road linking to U.S. 101 at Marsh Road, Atherton (the official routing of SR 84)
  2. Willow Road (SR 114), an approximately one-mile expressway through east Menlo Park to U.S. 101
  3. University Avenue (SR 109), an arterial road and the main commercial street of East Palo Alto.

The Willow Road and University Avenue junctions with Bayfront Expressway are at-grade intersections controlled by traffic lights; there are two additional controlled intersections at Chilco Road and Marsh Road, and the Marsh Road interchange on U.S. 101 is a parclo. The result is that Bayfront Expressway is frequently congested, and when not congested is often the site of high-speed car crashes. In 2007, prominent author David Halberstam was killed in one such crash at the Willow Road intersection.

Access to I-280 is available via State Route 84 to Woodside Road (as signed) or other arterial routes. There are no cross-Peninsula freeway connections between State Routes 92 and 85 (which is so far south that it technically lies in Silicon Valley and not on the Peninsula). In addition, there are no direct cross-Peninsula arterial routes between State Route 84 and Page Mill Road, a five-mile gap.

Although the present situation has resulted in severe traffic problems on the bridge itself and in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, Caltrans has been unable to upgrade the relevant portion of Highway 84 to freeway standards for several decades, due to opposition from the cities of Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto. Freeway opponents fear that upgrading Highway 84 will encourage more people to live in southern Alameda County (where housing is more affordable) and commute to jobs in the mid-Peninsula area (where businesses wish to be located in order to be close to Silicon Valley), thus increasing traffic in their neighborhoods to the south and west of U.S. 101.

Bus service across the bridge is provided by the Dumbarton Express, run by a consortium of local transit agencies (SamTrans, AC Transit, VTA and others) which connects to BART at Union City and Caltrain at Palo Alto and California Avenue. AC Transit also runs Transbay buses U (Fremont BART and Amtrak to Stanford) and DA (Ardenwood to Oracle and Facebook headquarters) across the bridge. The free Stanford Marguerite Shuttle also runs buses AE-F and EB across the bridge.

Dumbarton Rail Bridge


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Dumbarton Rail Bridge 2007 (seen from a kayak)

Just to the south of the car bridge lies the Dumbarton Rail Bridge. Built in 1910, the rail bridge has been unused since 1982 and its western approach collapsed in a fire in 1998. When the bridge was in use, boaters would signal the operator, who would start a diesel engine and rotate the bridge to the open position on a large gear. The bridge is now left in the open position as shown. There are plans for a new rail bridge and rehabilitation of the rail line to serve a commuter rail service to connect Union City, Fremont, and Newark to various Peninsula destinations. A successful March 2004 regional transportation ballot measure included funding to rehabilitate the rail bridge for the commuter rail service, but in October 2008 the Metropolitan Transportation Commission transferred $91 million from this project to the BART Warm Springs Extension Project in Fremont.

Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct


Between the Dumbarton Bridge and the Dumbarton Rail Bridge is the Bay crossing of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct. The aqueduct rises above ground in Newark at the east side of the Bay, falls below the water’s surface at a pump station in Fremont, re-emerges in the middle of the Bay and then continues above water until it reaches the west side of the Bay at Menlo Park.

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San Mateo–Hayward Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aerial view of the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, with Foster City in the foreground

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San Francisco Bay Bridges

San Mateo–Hayward Bridge

The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge (commonly called the San Mateo Bridge) is a bridge crossing the U.S. state of California’s San Francisco Bay, linking the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. The bridge’s western end is in Foster City, a suburb on the eastern edge of San Mateo. The eastern end of the bridge is in Hayward. It is the longest bridge in California and the 25th longest in the world by length. The bridge is owned by the state of California, and is maintained by Caltrans, the state highway agency. Further oversight is provided by the Bay Area Toll Authority.

The bridge is part of State Route 92, whose western terminus is at the town of Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast. It links Interstate 880 in the East Bay with U.S. Route 101 on the Peninsula. It is roughly parallel to and lies between the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge, and is sometimes used by commuters to avoid traffic delays due to emergencies on those bridges.

Contents
1 History and description
1.1 1929 original bridge
1.2 1967 orthotropic bridge
1.3 Upgrades and repairs
1.3.1 Seismic upgrades (1997–2000)
1.3.2 Widening (2002–2003)
1.3.3 Seismic beam (2010–2012)
1.3.4 Repaving (2015)
1.4 Werder Pier
2 Tolls

History and Description


1929 Original Bridge

The San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge Company issued US$4,500,000 (equivalent to $62,000,000 in 2016) in bonds to raise a portion of the estimated US$7,500,000 (equivalent to $103,400,000 in 2016) budget required to build the first bridge. First-year operating revenues were anticipated to be US$868,469 (equivalent to $11,974,000 in 2016), but the original bridge lost money in its first year of operation.

The original bridge, known as the San Francisco Bay toll bridge, opened on 2 March 1929 after approximately a year of construction. It was a privately owned venture and was then the longest bridge in the world. The original bridge was mostly a two-lane causeway trestle with five 300-foot (91 m) truss spans in the center incorporating a vertical lift over the main shipping channel. Clearance when the lift was down to allow road traffic over the bridge was 35 feet (11 m), and clearance with the lift up to allow marine traffic to pass the bridge was 135 feet (41 m).

The original drawbridge played a minor role in the history of the Stanford Axe. When Stanford students stole the Axe back from Cal in April 1930, the getaway car was presumed to be traveling the shortest route, which would be over the bridge, and pursuing Cal students gave chase. The operator on duty, who was a graduate student at Stanford, learned that Cal students were causing the increased traffic in pursuit of the Axe, so he raised the draw and stopped traffic. In fact, the getaway car was traveling back to Palo Alto via San Jose.

Although the initial press was favorable, daily traffic fell from the opening months and never exceeded 2,000 cars per day until 1947. The State of California purchased the bridge on 12 September 1951 for US$6,000,000 (equivalent to $55,400,000 in 2016). By 1955, traffic exceeded 9,000 cars per day,] and in 1957, traffic was stopped an average of six times per day to allow ship traffic to pass the bridge. The bridge originally had pole lights along the entire stretch, which were later abandoned except over the vertical lift span. Traffic on the bridge increased from 3,000 cars per day in 1929 to 56,000 cars per day in 1968. Before the new bridge was complete, California put the original truss spans up for sale in 1965, with the buyer obligated to remove all five truss spans after completion of the 1967 bridge.

1967 Orthotropic Bridge

With increased road and marine traffic, a bill was introduced in 1961 by State Senator Richard J. Dolwig to fund a new fixed high-level bridge to replace the 1929 lift-bridge. The modern span, which began construction on 17 July 1961, opened for traffic in 1967 at a cost of US$70,000,000 (equivalent to $503,000,000 in 2016). The originally designed upgrade would retain the existing lift span (along with the attendant delays due to passing ship traffic), adding a second deck to the truss spans and widening the existing trestles to four lanes, but the California Toll Bridge Authority added US$30,000,000 (equivalent to $240,400,000 in 2016) to the project budget in September 1961 to replace the existing lift span with a fixed high-level double-deck span, which would have been similar in appearance to the nearby 1956 Richmond–San Rafael Bridge.

By that time, prior phases of the project had already been awarded to relocate the toll plaza from San Mateo to Hayward on new fill and bids were taken for the new eastern trestle, with trestle construction awarded to Peter Kiewit Sons’. The finished single-deck design was not finalized until January 1962, with work initially estimated to complete in 1965.

The new span won two prizes in 1968: an ASCE Award for Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement and an American Institute of Steel Construction long-span prize bridge award.

William Stephen Allen was retained as an architectural consultant, although the bridge was designed by the Bay Toll Crossings Division (under Chief Engineer Norman C. Raab) of the California Department of Public Works. Chuck Seim, one of the design engineers working for Bay Toll Crossings, would later credit Allan Temko’s criticism of Raab’s economical truss design for the Richmond–San Rafael crossing for generating sufficient public pressure to drive the single-deck design. Temko’s article quoted Tung-Yen Lin as being against a repeat of the Richmond–San Rafael design, but Lin ultimately gave Temko the credit for the design. Raab retired and his successor, E.R. “Mike” Foley, was willing to incorporate aesthetic considerations, resulting in the final design. The western highrise span features an all-steel superstructure, with an orthotropic deck over two parallel box girders, following the construction of several smaller test bridges using the same orthotropic deck technology. It was the first large-scale use of an orthotropic deck, which reduces weight, and thus seismic loading, although the bridge is expected to receive moderate to major damage following an earthquake.

Murphy Pacific Marine built the Marine Boss floating barge-crane in 1966 with a 500-short-ton (454 t) capacity to perform the heavy box girder and deck-section lifts. The heavy lift capacity of Marine Boss enabled Murphy Pacific to raise much longer prefabricated girders than existing barge cranes would have allowed. Box girder and deck sections were fabricated in Murphy Pacific’s Richmond yard and were carried by Marine Boss to the bridge construction site. Marine Boss was sold for scrap in 1988 to Weeks Marine in New Jersey, who renamed it the Weeks 533 and refurbished it. Weeks 533 has since been used for several notable heavy lifts, including moving the Concorde and Enterprise onto the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and lifting the downed hull of US Airways Flight 1549 from the Hudson River.

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The highrise section of the San Mateo-Hayward bridge (1967 span).

The total length of the bridge is 7 miles (11.3 km), which is made up of a western 1.9-mile (3.1 km) highrise section and an eastern 5.1 miles (8.2 km) trestle section. 425,000 cubic yards (324,936 m3) of fill were used at the Hayward end to reclaim land for placing the toll plaza and administrative buildings. The eastern trestle span was built on 4,840 prestressed hollow concrete piles, each 60–90 feet (18–27 m) long. The contractor built a casting yard in Richmond to produce the concrete piles continuously. The new eastern trestle span was completed in 1963 and traffic over the existing 1929 bridge was moved over to it.

Work on the western highrise span was bid in October 1964 and commenced in 1965. It crosses a shipping channel, with an orthotropic main span that is 750 feet (229 m) long (at the time, the longest girder span in the United States) and has a vertical clearance of 135 feet (41 m). The main span is flanked by two orthotropic back spans which are each 375 feet (114 m) long, and there are seven orthotropic side spans on the approach to each back span. Each of these side spans are 292 feet (89 m) long. Although these spans appear to be formed from continuous box girders, they consist of alternating anchor spans and suspended spans. Anchor spans rest on top of two adjacent piers and cantilever over each side slightly, and suspended spans are hung between the ends of two adjacent anchor spans. There are an additional nine 208-foot (63 m) steel spans carrying a concrete deck on the San Mateo side of the highrise, and ten steel spans carrying a concrete deck on the Hayward side, ranging from 186–208 feet (57–63 m). The bridge carries about 93,000 cars and other vehicles on a typical day, almost double its original projected design capacity of 50,000 vehicles per day.

The steel deck of the bridge, approximately 418,000 square feet (38,833 m2), was paved with an epoxy asphalt concrete wearing surface in two layers. The San Mateo Bridge was the first deployment of an epoxy asphalt concrete wearing surface. As of 2005, the original wearing surface was still in use, but was subsequently replaced in 2015.

The highrise section was initially built with six lanes and the eastern causeway with four lanes (two in each direction). The causeway section was a perennial traffic bottleneck until it was expanded to six lanes in 2002, along with much needed improvements in its connections with Interstate 880 in Hayward.

Bus service over the bridge is provided by AC Transit’s Line M Transbay service.

San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

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San Mateo-Hayward Bridge (1967), showing some of the electric transmission towers paralleling the bridge route and Werder Pier (at left)

High-voltage power lines built by PG&E in the 1950s parallel the bridge all the way across the bay. They provide power to the peninsula and San Francisco.

Upgrades and repairs

Seismic upgrades (1997–2000)

The bridge was closed in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake as a precaution, but reopened on 18 October 1989. It underwent an extensive seismic retrofitting from 1997 through 2000 to protect against earthquake damage.

Widening (2002–2003)

The bridge was considered the worst evening commute in the Bay Area, which ended with the completion of a new eastern trestle carrying westbound bridge traffic in 2002. Eastbound bridge traffic took over the old trestle completely, although eastbound traffic was not expanded to three lanes until February 2003. Funded as part of BATA’s regional Measure (RM) 1 program, which raised bridge tolls, the new low-rise trestle portion of the bridge added 10 feet (3.0 m) shoulders on both sides in both directions and effectively widened traffic from four to six lanes, matching the configuration of the high-rise portion of the bridge. With the completion of the new westbound trestle, the speed limit on the bridge was raised to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h).

Seismic beam (2010–2012)

A beam, which had been added as part of the seismic retrofit project, was found in a cracked condition during a routine inspection in October 2010. The beam, which was on the westbound approach to (east of) the highrise section, was patched with a steel plate as an emergency repair, and permanent repairs, requiring a weekend shutdown, were completed two years later.

Repaving (2015)

After nearly forty years of service from the original orthotropic deck wearing surface, Myers and Sons Construction, a partnership between C. C. Myers and Sterling Construction Company, was the selected bidder to remove and replace the wearing surface on the highrise portion in 2015. The work required two full weekend closures on 8–11 May 2015 and 22–25 May 2015. The new polyester concrete wearing surface, developed by Caltrans and used to great success in other Bay Area bridges, is anticipated to be at least as durable as the original epoxy asphalt concrete, according to laboratory tests conducted at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The bridge was closed to traffic, for the first time since opening, starting at 10pm on Friday, May 8, 2015, for resurfacing and maintenance. The bridge reopened before 4am on Monday, May 11, 2015. It closed again for the final phase over Memorial Day weekend, May 22–25, 2015, fully reopening by 4:55am on May 25.

Werder Pier

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Werder Pier, the remnant of the original 1929 western trestle span

After the new bridge was built, the old bridge was demolished but the western approach (the trestle span up to the original truss spans) was purchased by the County of San Mateo in 1968 for the nominal sum of US$10 (equivalent to $70 in 2016) and retained as the 4,055 feet (1,236 m) Werder Fishing Pier, which was known as one of the best places to catch sharks in San Francisco Bay. San Mateo County operated Werder Pier under a lease agreement with Caltrans, which stated that Caltrans may temporarily revoke the lease in order to perform use the pier as a staging area for repairs to the 1967 span, and that San Mateo County must maintain the pier and keep it open for public use for twenty-five years.

Werder Pier was closed to the public in 1996, when Caltrans used it as an equipment staging area for the seismic retrofit of the 1967 span. In addition, there were liability concerns since the pier’s structure had degraded due to exposure to marine elements. A report was prepared for the County in 2004; the cost of rehabilitating the pier and providing some improvements was estimated at up to US$7,200,000 (equivalent to $9,100,000 in 2016), depending on a more detailed evaluation of the pier’s condition, since the investigation for the report revealed numerous cracks, spalls and exposed reinforcing steel. However, the report also stated the pier did not require any seismic retrofitting.

As of 2013 ownership of the parking lot and land access to the pier was transferred to Foster City. Initial concepts for the newly acquired space included a possible ice rink and ferry terminal, but the land was deemed too environmentally sensitive to support high-intensity use. The park carried an interim name of Werder Park, and was dedicated as Bridgeview Park for a grand opening on June 27, 2015.

Tolls


Tolls are only collected from westbound traffic at the toll plaza on the east side of the bridge. Since July 2010, the toll rate for passenger cars is $5. For vehicles with more than two axles, the toll rate is $5 per axle. Drivers may either pay by cash or use the FasTrak electronic toll collection device. During peak traffic hours, the two left lanes are designated HOV lanes, allowing carpool vehicles carrying two or more people or motorcycles to pass for a toll of $2.50. The next three lanes are FasTrak-only lanes. During non-peak hours the two HOV lanes become FasTrak-only lanes.

Opera Snapshot_2017-11-05_154917_en.wikipedia.org

Nanpu Bridge

Nanpu Bridge 01

The Nanpu Bridge (simplified Chinese: 南浦大桥; traditional Chinese: 南浦大橋; pinyin: Nánpǔ Dàqiáo), in Shanghai, China, sister bridge to the Yangpu Bridge, is one of the main bridges in Shanghai.

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The cable-stayed bridge was designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, Shanghai Urban Construction College, and Shanghai Urban Construction Design Institute, with assistance from Holger S. Svensson. It has a main span of 428 meters (1,388 ft), shorter than its sister bridge. It is the 57th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, opened to the public in 1991

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  • Coordinates: 31°12′27″N 121°30′03″E
  • Carries: 7 lanes (road traffic)
  • Crosses: Huangpu River
  • Locale: Zhongqiu Jhiazhai,Shanghai,China
  • Official name: Nanpu Dàqiáo
  • Characteristics
  • Design: Cable-stayed bridge
  • Total length: 760 metres (2,493 ft)
  • Longest span: 423 m

Nanpu Bridge 03

Nanpu Bridge is the first bridge to cross the Huangpu River from central Shanghai, linking it with the Pudong district across the river. The bridge and its spiral approaches are a major connection across the river and between Zhongshan South Road and Lu Jiabing Road.

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Nanpu Bridge is a major contributor to the ongoing and rapid development of the Pudong District. The bridge’s special design and location also make it an attraction for locals and travelers, even more spectacular by night.

Nanpu_Bridge_Panorama

History

Huangpu River is regarded as the mother river by Shanghai people who consider it the cradle of Shanghai growth and civilization. However, as long as this great river separated the backward Pudong District from the thriving Puxi District, a big bridge linking them was a dream for many generations in Shanghai.

The idea of building a bridge has been popular since the 1920s. In 1975 Songpu Bridge was built, and although it reduced pressure temporarily it did not solve the problem of busy traffic on the Huangpu River because it was too far from the central city area.

The idea of building another bridge over the Huangpu River again became the focus and in August 1986 the state council approved the application for the Nanpu Bridge project. In July 1988 the Shanghai government set up the Nanpu Bridge head office, and construction began some months later. In 1990, when the Chinese government decided to make Pudong District a major development area, the building of Nanpu Bridge became an even more important project.

Construction

Nanpu BridgeConstruction on the Nanpu Bridge project began on December 15 1988 and actual construction was finished by June 20 199l. Deng Xiaoping personally inscribed the name of the bridge on a main girder. The opening ceremony was held on November 19 1991 and open to traffic on December 1 1991, becoming the first bridge over the Huangpu River in central Shanghai, and the fourth biggest cable-stayed bridge in the world.

Mainly financed by the Asian Development Bank, the total cost for this project was CNY 820 million. Shanghai Jiushi Corporation was responsible for raising capital and financial management for the whole project.

Nanpu Bridge was co-designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, and the Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute. The Shanghai Municipal Engineering Institute and Shanghai Institute of Building Research supervised 18 corporations involved in this project.

The successful completion of Nanpu Bridge stimulated the economic development of Shanghai and also laid a good foundation for the subsequent construction of Yangpu Bridge and Xupu Bridge.

The overall length of Nanpu Bridge is 8,346 m (9,127 yards). The main bridge is 846 m (925 yards) and the total length of the elevated circular approaches is 7500 m (8,202 yards) with 423 m (462 yards) for the span. With a bridge height of 46 m (50 yards) over the water, ships of up to 55 thousand tons are able to successfully navigate below the bridge.

The main bridge is a cable-stayed bridge with two main towers and double cable planes. The towers stand on each bank and are built of reinforced concrete, 150 m (492 feet) high, and resembling the letter ‘H’. Each side of the bridge has 22 pairs of steel cable linking the girder cable plane, which look like 2 fans from a distance.

The main bridge is a composite structure of steel and concrete. The lower layer of the bridge deck is made of a large ‘beam’ frame while the upper layer is reinforced with concrete. The steel deck and the bridge surfacewere welded with electronic welding, and concrete poured into the junction. This composite beam structure was first developed in Chinese bridge construction.

Travel Information

Address: No.1410, Nanma Road (sightseeing office)
Buses: Take Nos 43/64/65/89/109/144/801/802/868/869/910/928, tourism bus NO.7, Nanshe bus line, Jinjiang Tourism Bus.
Subways: The outer ring of Line 4 and inner ring of Line 4, Line 8.
Opening hours for the elevator: 8:30-16:30
Admission Fee: RMB 5 (by elevator)

Magdeburg Water Bridge

The Incredible Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany

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The Magdeburg Water Bridge (German: Kanalbrücke Magdeburg) is a large navigable aqueduct in central Germany, located near Magdeburg. The largest canal underbridge in Europe, it spans the river Elbe and directly connects the Mittellandkanal to the west and Elbe-Havel Canal to the east of the river, allowing large commercial ships to pass between the Rhineland and Berlin without having to descend into and then climb out of the Elbe itself.

Magdeburg Water Bridge a.k.a Kachip’s Bridge

  • Coordinates: 52.230833°N 11.701389°E
  • Characteristics
  • Design: Beam Bridge
  • Total length: 918 metres (3,012 ft) (690 m over land and 228 m over water)
  • Width: 34 metres (112 ft)
  • Water depth: 4.25 metres (13.9 ft)
  • Traversable?: boats, pedestrians, cyclists
  • Longest span: 106 metres (348 ft)
  • Clearance below: 90.00 m × 6.25 m
  • History
  • Construction start: 1997
  • Construction end: 2003
  • Opened: 2003

History

Planning for the canal crossing dates back to at least the beginning of the 20th century. Work on the Mittellandkanal began in 1905, while work on the overall project continued until 1942, when all construction was brought to a halt because of World War II. After the war, the government of East Germany did not resume work on the project because east-west trade was no longer important in the context of the Cold War. After the reunification of Germany, the reestablishment of major water transport routes made the water bridge a priority again. Work started in 1998, with construction taking six years and costing €501 million. The water bridge now connects Berlin’s inland harbour network with the ports along the Rhine River. The aqueduct’s tough structure incorporates 24,000 tonnes of steel and 68,000 cubic meters of concrete.

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The bridge as seen from the shores of the Elbe

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Map of the bridge, showing new (yellow) and previous (red) vessel routings

The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in Germany that connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal, and allows ships to cross over the Elbe River. At 918 meters, it is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.

The Elbe-Havel and Mittelland canals had previously met near Magdeburg but on opposite sides of the Elbe. Ships moving between the two had to make a 12-kilometer detour, descending from the Mittelland Canal through the Rothensee boat lift into the Elbe, then sailing downstream on the river, before entering the Elbe-Havel Canal through Niegripp lock. Low water levels in the Elbe often prevented fully laden canal barges from making this crossing, requiring time-consuming off-loading of cargo.

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Construction of the water link was started as early as in the 1930s but due to the World War 2 and subsequent division of Germany the work remained suspended till 1997. The aqueduct was finally completed and opened to the public in 2003.

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Ponte Vecchio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ponte Vecchio Map

Location Map

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

  • Coordinates: 43°46′4.76″N 11°15′11.49″E
  • Crosses: Arno River
  • Locale: Florence, Italy
  • Characteristics
  • Design: closed-spandrel segmental stone arch bridge
  • Width: 32 metres (105 ft)
  • Longest span 30 metres (98 ft)
  • Location: in Florence

The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”, Italian pronunciation: [ˈponte ˈvɛkkjo]) is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio’s two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie.

Contents

1 | History and Construction
2 | Vasari’s Corridor
3 | Benvenuto Cellini’s Bust
4 | Recent History
5 | Gallery

1 | History and Construction


The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345. Giorgio Vasari recorded the traditional view of his day that attributed its design to Taddeo Gaddi — besides Giotto one of the few artistic names of the trecento still recalled two hundred years later. Modern historians present Neri di Fioravanti as a possible candidate. Sheltered in a little loggia at the central opening of the bridge is a weathered dedication stone, which once read Nel trentatrè dopo il mille-trecento, il ponte cadde, per diluvio dell’ acque: poi dieci anni, come al Comun piacque, rifatto fu con questo adornamento. The Torre dei Mannelli was built at the southeast corner of the bridge to defend it.

The bridge consists of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters (98 feet) the two side arches each span 27 meters (89 feet). The rise of the arches is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters (11½ to 14½ feet), and the span-to-rise ratio 5:1.

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Damage shown shortly after liberation in August 1944 during World War II

It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises, after authorization of the Bargello (a sort of a lord mayor, a magistrate and a police authority). The back shops (retrobotteghe) that may be seen from upriver, were added in the seventeenth century.

It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a money-changer could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” (broken table; possibly it can come from “banca rotta” which means “broken bank”). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything.

During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat on the advance of the liberating British 8th Army on August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in FlorenceThis was allegedly, according to many locals and tour guides, because of an express order by HitlerAccess to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt using a combination of original and modern design.

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Vasari corridor from Palazzo Vecchio to Uffizi

2 | Vasari’s Corridor


In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo I de’ Medici had Giorgio Vasari build the Vasari Corridor above it To enforce the prestige of the bridge, in 1593 the Medici Grand Dukes prohibited butchers from selling there; their place was immediately taken by several gold merchants. The corporative association of butchers had monopolised the shops on the bridge since 1442. A stone with an inscription from Dante (Paradiso xvi. 140-7) records the spot at the entrance to the bridge where Buondelmonte de’ Buondelmonti was murdered on behalf of the Amidei, in 1215, initiating the urban fighting of the Guelfs and Ghibellines.

3 | Benvenuto Cellini’s Bust


In 1900, to honour and mark the fourth century of the birth of the great Florentine sculptor and master goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, the leading goldsmiths of the bridge commissioned the most renowned Florentine sculptor of the time Raffaello Romanelli to create a bronze bust of Cellini to stand atop a fountain in the middle of the Eastern side of the bridge, where it stands to this day

4 | Recent History


Along the Ponte Vecchio, there can be seen many padlocks affixed in various places, especially to the railing around the statue of Benvenuto Cellini. This is a recent tradition for the Ponte Vecchio, although it has been practiced in Russia and in Asia before. It was perhaps introduced by the padlock shop owner at the end of the bridge. It is popularly connected to idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river, the lovers became eternally bonded. This is an example of the negative impact of mass tourism: thousands of padlocks needed to be removed frequently, spoiling or damaging the structure of the centuries-old bridge; however, it seems to have decreased after the city administration put a sign on the bridge mentioning a €160 penalty for those caught locking something to the fence.

There is a similar ongoing padlock phenomenon at Ponte Milvio, due to one of Federico Moccia’s books.

The bridge was severely damaged in the 1966 flood of the Arno.

The bridge is mentioned in the aria “O mio babbino caro” by Giacomo Puccini.

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Panoramic view of the Ponte Vecchio, from the West.

5 | Gallery

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View from Michelangelo Park

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Florence Ponte Vecchio bridge at night

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View across the bridge.

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Ponte Vecchio

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Arno River and Ponte Vecchio

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Panorama of Ponte Vecchio

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Fireworks

 

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The Ponte Vecchio during a sunset.

 

 

The World’s 20 Most Impressive Bridges

From old stone spans to sweeping modern suspensions, bridges have a way of wowing us.

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By Tim Newcomb | Dec 29, 2015

Moving bridges, stone bridges, new bridges, historic bridges, bridges that are global icons, bridges you’ve probably never heard of—they’re all here. We even have one that floats on water and another that carries water. Here are our choices for the 20 most impressive spans around the world.

Golden Gate Bridge

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Craig Easton/Getty Images

San Francisco

The four-year project to span the Golden Gate strait and connect San Francisco to Marin County culminated in what was the world’s longest (4,200 feet) and tallest suspension bridge when this Bay Area landmark opened in 1937. The Golden Gate would keep those records until the 1960s. The Joseph Strauss Art Deco suspension bridge design is famous today in large part because of something a bit out of the norm in the bridge world: color. Golden Gate was painted “International Orange” partly to match the warm coastal surroundings and also to stand out against the horizon for boaters.

Ponte Vecchio

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Pablo Charlón/Getty Images

Florence, Italy

You don’t walk over the Golden Gate Bridge expecting to find a market or a shopping mall up there. But centuries ago, it was common for shops and even houses to stand one the second story of a bridge. The most prominent example that still exists is probably Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. Rebuilt after a flood in 1345, a 1565 upgrade added a second story to the stone segmental arch bridge spanning the Arno River. It was in the second story that workshops and houses filled the extra space, stretching sometimes wider than the original bridge. Ponte Vecchio is the only one of its kind in Florence that survived World War II.

Magdeburg Water Bridge

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Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images

Magdeburg, Germany

The water bridge that crosses the Elbe River to connect the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittellandkanal becomes the longest navigable aqueduct in the world, at more than 3,000 feet long. Previously, connecting the two canals required a 7.4-mile detour and boat lift into the river. But in 2003 the new concrete water bridge near Berlin changed all that and gave ships a water-filled crossing.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Peter Phipp/Getty Images

Australia

The “Coathanger” of steel that crosses the Sydney Harbour has a longer history than it appears. Opened in 1932 after eight years of construction, the steel bridge features six million hand-driven rivets. The extreme sun in Sydney required hinges that could handle the steel expanding and contracting in the extreme temperatures. At 160 feet wide, the bridge was the widest long-span bridge in the world until 2012, and crosses over 3,700 feet with the steel arch 440 feet above the water.

Scale Lane Footbridge

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 John Lord/Flickr

Hull, England

Pedestrians can have some fun in Hull, England, with a swinging pedestrian bridge in what some call the shape of an apostrophe. Designed by McDowell+Benedetti and opened in 2013, the black steel bridge serves as a crossing of the River Hull, but opens to river traffic in an impressive swinging motion.

Millau Viaduct

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Getty Images

France

At 1,125 feet, the tallest bridge in the world opened in 2004 and can, at times, soar above the clouds. At over 8,000 feet long, Millau Viaduct spans the Tarn River Valley with seven pillars designed by Lord Norman Foster. To create the bridge in just three years, crews built the towers and then the roadway, which was slid into place atop the towers.

Brooklyn Bridge

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Kristen Duvall/Getty Images

New York City

It may have taken 14 years to build, but when the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn, the single span of 1,595 feet suspended by four cables was a sight to behold. It still is. Designed by John A. Roebling and with the construction led by son Washington Roebling and his wife, Emily, the project stands as an enduring symbol for bridge construction the world over. It may have been the 1884 P.T. Barnum spectacle of leading a herd of 21 elephants across the bridge that early on cemented the bridge’s popularity. But today, from the 15-.5-inch diameter cables comprised of 5,434 parallel steel wires to the towers built of limestone, granite and cement, everything about the Brooklyn is iconic.

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

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Seigo Yamamura/Getty Images

Japan

The longest suspension bridge in the world measures 12,800 feet across. It opened in 1998 after 12 years of construction. The three-span bridge crosses the Akashi Strait with 190,000 miles of wire cabling the roadways from the two towers. Bridge design had to account for earthquakes, high winds, and harsh sea currents crashing against the towers.

Rialto Bridge

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Narvikk/Getty Images

Venice, Italy

The first bridge to span the Grand Canals of Venice, this 15th Century structure by Antonio da Ponte defied the critics of the time and topped some steeped competition—even Michelangelo offered a design for the planned crossing. The peaked Venetian architecture allows for ship passage underneath. The design, which took three years to build, was created 24 feet high and 75 feet wide to allow space for shops along the sides.

Bay Bridge

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Thomas Winz/Getty Images

Oakland

The San Francisco Bay Area is lucky enough to have two internationally reknowned bridges. The new Bay Bridge East Span, a $6.4 billion project, replaced a seismically unstable bridge. It has the world’s largest self-anchored suspension span, a 2,047-foot span anchored by a single 525-foot-tall tower that holds a single mile-long main cable containing 17,399 steel wire strands.

State Route 520 Floating Bridge

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Washington State Dept of Transportation

Seattle

The world’s longest floating bridge will be upstaged in spring 2016 when the brand-new State Route 520 Floating Bridge replaces it. The new span, which runs just a few feet to the north of the old Seattle bridge, spans 7,710 feet across Lake Washington and five vehicle lanes wide. The new bridge uses 77 concrete pontoons as the foundation; the weight of the water displaced by the pontoons equals the weight of the structure, allowing it to float. The roadway is elevated 20 feet above the water. A total of 58 anchors secure the bridge.

Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas

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Denis Goujon/Getty Images

Bordeaux, France

The longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe, at 2,200 feet, has the architectural feat of lifting 252 feet over the Garonne River in Bordeaux, France. The four slender pylons that serve as the vehicle for the vertical lift will light up to signify the current tide—blue for high tide and green for low tide.

Helix Bridge

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Allan Baxter/Getty Images

Singapore

Inspired by the shape of DNA, the Helix Bridge offers Singapore pedestrians 918 feet of architectural intrigue and artistic expression. The bridge in Marina Bay uses multiple styles of steel to curve and sweep, opening up at five points for viewing platforms. The steel tubes serve as the visual spectacle. If straightened and laid end to end, they would stretch 7,380 feet.

Nanpu Bridge

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Wangwukong/Getty Images

Shanghai, China

The Nanpu Bridge features an impressive seven-lane, 2,500-foot cable-stay component over the Huangpu River. But honestly, it’s the four miles of bridge that doesn’t cross the river that offers the most intrigue. A circular elevated approach stretches from land and wraps up, bringing vehicles to the height of the crossing in the midst of the heavily congested downtown Shanghai.

Tower Bridge

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Anne Dirkse/Getty Images

London

Tower Bridge opened in 1894 on the east side of London after an eight-year project to construct a bridge across the Thames. It’s one bridge in two styles—suspension and bascule. The 213-foot-tall towers on either end of a 200-foot central lift span suspend the bridge to the shore on either side, while serving as the foundation for the bascule span that can raise and lower for ship traffic.

​Capilano Cliffwalk

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daveynin/Flickr

North Vancouver, British Columbia

Next door to the historic Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Cliffwalk opened in 2011 with 700 feet of bridge hanging off a cliff about 230 feet above a canyon. The bridge can handle 100,000 pounds of weight while anchored to the cliff’s walls. To make the natural Capilano River canyon even more impressive, sections of the Cliffwalk feature glass-bottom walkways. Not for the faint of heights.

Russky Bridge

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Saeed Khan/Getty Images

Russky Island, Russia

Completed in 2012, the 1,053-foot-tall structure became the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge at more than 10,000 feet long, and it has the second-highest pylons (following the Millau Viaduct) in the world. Just don’t plan on ever needing to cross the Russky Bridge in your lifetime—it’s located in a rural area of southeastern Russia near North Korea, China, and Japan.

Charles Bridge

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Blend Images/Getty Images

Prague, Czech Republic

Stone, old, and impressive. The Charles Bridge in Prague crosses the Vltava River in all its Gothic glory. What started in 1357 as a major construction project ended in the early 1400s with a 2,037-foot stone arch bridge connecting Old Town to the Prague Castle area in the Lesser Quarter with 16 arches and an additional 30 decorative statues.

Tilikum Crossing

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Kurt Stricker/Getty Images

Portland, Oregon

The first new crossing over Portland’s Willamette River since 1973, 1,700-foot Tilikum Crossing opening in September 2015. The structure is remarkable not only for the slender design, with 110.5-foot towers that flow down to the five spans, but also because of what you won’t find on the bridge: cars. It’s not easy to build a big infrasturcture project in America, much less one that turns away drivers. But only light rail, streetcar, buses, pedestrians, and cyclists are welcome here.

​Slauerhoff Bridge

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Bert Kaufmann – Brug Leeuwarden/wikimedia

Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Nicknamed the Flying Drawbridge, for obvious reasons, this small bascule bridge swings sections of 49 foot by 49 foot deck 90 degrees up into the air to allow ships to pass. Two arms swing from a pylon, instead of traditional hinges, for quicker movement.

Bridges in London

Visit London’s many bridges for sweeping views and fascinating history.

Many of London’s iconic bridges give unique views and access to some of the city’s most popular sights, tours and events; or are well known landmarks in their own right. Wherever you find yourself along the Thames you’re guaranteed to be close to at least one of these famous bridges.

  1. Tower Bridge
  2. London Bridge
  3. Millennium Bridge
  4. Southwark Bridge
  5. Blackfriars Bridge
  6. Waterloo Bridge
  7. Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
  8. Westminster Bridge
  9. Lambeth Bridge
  10. Vauxhall Bridge
  11. Chelsea Bridge
  12. Albert Bridge
  13. Battersea Bridge
  14. Wandsworth Bridge
  15. Putney Bridge
  16. Hammersmith Bridge
  17. Chiswick Bridge
  18. Kew Bridge
  19. Twickenham Bridge
  20. Richmond Bridge
  21. Kingston Bridge
  22. Hampton Court Bridge

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aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

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Tower Bridge


Find out more about how the famous bridge’s history at the Tower Bridge Exhibition, where you can also enjoy fantastic views from 45 metres (131 feet) above the Thames on the bridge’s walkways.

Take a look behind-the-scenes of the famous bridge at The Tower Bridge Exhibition. You’ll discover areas such as the bridge’s machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.

This process hasn’t always gone smoothly, however. In 1952 the bridge started rising while one of London’s double-decker buses was still trying to cross. Its driver, Albert Gunton, avoided catastrophe by accelerating rapidly and jumping the gap.

Built in 1894, Tower Bridge is the most iconic bridge in London. This impressive feat of engineering is 244 metres (800 feet) long, covered in 22,000 litres (5,812gal) of paint and crossed by 40,000 people each day.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London, resulting in it sometimes being confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi (0.80 km) upstream. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. It is the only one of the Trust’s bridges not to connect the City of London directly to the Southwark bank, as its northern landfall is in Tower Hamlets.

The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical components of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. Before its restoration in the 2010s, the bridge’s colour scheme dated from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. Its colours were subsequently restored to blue and white.

The bridge deck is freely accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians, whereas the bridge’s twin towers, high-level walkways and Victorian engine rooms form part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, for which an admission charge is made. The nearest London Underground tube stations are Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines, London Bridge on the Jubilee and Northern lines and Bermondsey on the Jubilee line, and the nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Tower Gateway. The nearest National Rail stations are at Fenchurch Street and London Bridge.

  • Carries: A100 Tower Bridge Road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London boroughs:
    – north side: Tower Hamlets
    – south side: Southwark
  • Maintained by: Bridge House Estates
  • Heritage status: Grade I listed structure
  • Preceded by: London Bridge
  • Followed by: Queen Elizabeth II Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Bascule bridge / Suspension Bridge
  • Total length:801 ft (244 m)
  • Height: 213 ft (65 m)
  • Longest span: 270 ft (82.3 m)
  • Clearance below:
    • 28 ft (8.6 m) (closed)
    • 139 ft (42.5 m) (open)
    • (mean high water spring tide)

History

  • Opened: 30 June 1894; 123 years ago

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London Bridge


While much more subdued in design compared to its flashier neighbour, London Bridge is arguably just as famous. The first incarnation was built by the Romans, followed later by medieval bridges with houses on top, and a stone bridge commissioned by Henry II which lasted until 1831.

An American firm called McCulloch Oil Company bought the next London Bridge for £1m in 1971 as a tourist attraction for the new Lake Havasu City in Arizona. But the story that Robert P. McCulloch thought that he was paying for the more iconic Tower Bridge is now thought to be an urban legend.

Find out more about the bridge’s history with the London Bridge experience, or explore its status as a film icon with the London Movie Tour.

Throughout history, a number of bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark, in central London. The current crossing, which opened to traffic in 1973, is a box girder bridge built from concrete and steel. This replaced a 19th-century stone-arched bridge, which in turn superseded a 600-year-old medieval structure. This was preceded by a succession of timber bridges, the first built by the Roman founders of London.

The current bridge stands at the western end of the Pool of London but is positioned 30 metres (98 ft) upstream from previous alignments. The traditional ends of the medieval bridge were marked by St Magnus-the-Martyr on the northern bank and Southwark Cathedral on the southern shore. Until Putney Bridge opened in 1729, London Bridge was the only road-crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston upon Thames. Its importance has been the subject of popular culture throughout the ages such as in the nursery rhyme “London Bridge Is Falling Down” and its inclusion within art and literature.

The modern bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, an independent charity of medieval origin overseen by the City of London Corporation. It carries the A3 road, which is maintained by the Greater London Authority. The crossing also delineates an area along the southern bank of the River Thames, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, that has been designated as a business improvement district.

  • Coordinates: 51°30′29″N 0°05′16″W
  • Carries: Five lanes of the A3
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Central London
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Preceded by: Cannon Street Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Tower Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Prestressed concrete box girder bridge
  • Total length: 269 m (882.5 ft)
  • Width: 32 m (105.0 ft)
  • Longest span: 104 m (341.2 ft)
  • Clearance below: 8.9 m (29.2 ft)
  • Design life:
    • Modern bridge (1971–present)
    • Victorian stone arch (1832–1968)
    • Medieval stone arch (1176–1832)
    • Various wooden bridges (AD 50–1176)

History

  • Opened: 17 March 1973; 44 years ago

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Millennium Bridge


The Millennium Bridge opened to the public on 10 June 2000, linking St Paul’s Cathedral on the north bank of the Thames with the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. The footbridge’s famous tremor has now been fixed, but “the wobbly bridge” nickname endures.

The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge. It is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. Construction began in 1998, and it initially opened in June 2000.

Londoners nicknamed the bridge the “Wobbly Bridge” after pedestrians felt unexpected swaying motion. The bridge was closed later on opening day, and after two days of limited access, it was closed for almost two years while modifications were made to eliminate the motion. It reopened in 2002.

The southern end of the bridge is near the Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery, and Tate Modern, while the northern end of the bridge is next to the City of London School below St Paul’s Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view (i.e. a “terminating vista”) of St Paul’s south façade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports.

  • Coordinates: 51.510173°N 0.098438°WCoordinates: 51.510173°N 0.098438°W
  • Carries: Pedestrians
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Official name: London Millennium Footbridge
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Preceded by: Blackfriars Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Southwark Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Suspension bridge
  • Total length: 325 metres (1,066 ft)
  • Width: 4 metres (13 ft)
  • Longest span: 144 metres (472 ft)

History

  • Engineering design by: Arup
  • Constructed by:
    • Monberg & Thorsen
    • Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Opened: 10 June 2000; 17 years ago

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The bridge seen from St Paul’s Cathedral.

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London Millennium Bridge at night. This image shows the well known and much photographed illusion of St. Paul’s Cathedral being supported by one of the bridge supports.

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Showing the cable suspension system.

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The view east from the Millennium Bridge

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Aerial view of the Millennium Bridge between
St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern in London.

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A telephoto shot compresses London’s Millennium bridge.

Southwark Bridge


Southwark Bridge links the City of London with Southwark on the south bank of the Thames. It’s the closest bridge to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and sees the least traffic of the city’s bridges.

Southwark (Br [ˈsʌðɨk]) Bridge is an arch bridge in London, England, for traffic linking the district of Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It has the lowest traffic utilisation of any bridge in central London.

  • Carries: A300 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Southwark, London, England
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Millennium Bridge
  • Followed by: Cannon Street Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Total length: 800 feet (243.8 m)
  • Width: 55 feet (16.8 m)
  • Longest span: 240 feet (73.2 m)

History

  • Opened: 6 June 1921

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Southwark Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

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Southwark Bridge seen from the south bank of the Thames. Tower 42 and 30 St Mary Axe can be seen above the bridge

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Southwark Bridge at night

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Southwark Bridge over the River Thames in London.
The Cannon Street Rail Bridge and London Bridge are in the background.

Blackfriars Bridge


Built in 1869, Blackfriars Bridge gained notoriety in 1982 when Vatican bank Chairman Robert Calvi was found hanging from it. Calvi was embroiled in a series of financial scandals and a member of the “Propaganda Due” (or P2) Masonic lodge that brought down the Italian government in 1981. Members of P2 referred to themselves as “Frati neri” or Black Friars.

Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, carrying the A201 road. The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station. The south end is near the Tate Modern art gallery and the Oxo Tower.

  • Coordinates: 51.5097°N 0.1044°WCoordinates: 51.5097°N 0.1044°W
  • OS grid reference: TQ315807
  • Carries: A201 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Waterloo Bridge
  • Followed by: Blackfriars Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch Bridge
  • Total length: 923 feet (281 m)
  • Width: 105 feet (32 m)
  • No. of spans: 5

History

  • Designer: Joseph Cubitt
  • Constructed by: P. A. Thom & Co.
  • Opened
    • 1769 (first bridge)
    • 6 October 1869 (current bridge)

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Blackfriars Bridge seen from Waterloo Bridge

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Blackfriars Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral behind

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Blackfriars Bridge viewed from upstream, looking south

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Blackfriars Bridge at night

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Blackfriars Rail Bridge over the River Thames in London
photographed from Blackfriars Bridge.

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Temperance, a statue atop a drinking water fountain at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge.

Waterloo Bridge


Opened in 1945, the current Waterloo Bridge earned the nickname the “Ladies Bridge” as it was built mainly by women during World War II (while many men were away fighting). The first bridge built here in 1817 was made up of nine granite arches and commemorated the victory of the British, the Dutch and the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Waterloo Bridge (/ˌwɔːtərˈluː/) is a road and foot traffic bridge crossing the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. Its name commemorates the victory of the British, the Dutch and the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Thanks to its location at a strategic bend in the river, the views from the bridge (of Westminster, the South Bank and the London Eye to the west, and of the City of London and Canary Wharf to the east) are widely held to be the finest from any spot in London at ground level.

  • Carries: A301 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Named for: Battle of Waterloo
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
  • Followed by: Blackfriars Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Box girder bridge
  • Total length: 1,230 feet (370 m)
  • Width: 80 feet (24 m)
  • Longest span: 233 feet (71 m)

History

  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 18 June 1817
    • (second bridge) 11 March 1942; 75 years ago

1280px-River_Thames_and_Waterloo_Bridge,_London-17Aug2009

River Thames and Waterloo Bridge
(as seen from the London Eye)

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Crowds attend the opening of the first Waterloo Bridge on 18 June 1817

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View of the Old Waterloo Bridge from Whitehall Stairs, John Constable, 18 June 1817

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Waterloo Bridge, about 1925

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The design called for supporting beams only at the outside edges, to bring “light and sweetness” to the underside–Giles Gilbert Scott, quoted in Hopkins (1970)

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Waterloo Bridge by Charles Deane, 1821

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Ships pass under Waterloo Bridge on London’s River Thames.

Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges


Opened in 2002, the two footbridges either side of the Hungerford Bridge were named in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Now a rail bridge, the Hungerford Bridge was also initially designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as a footbridge. Walk straight down to the river from Trafalgar Square and you can cross the Golden Jubilee Bridges to the Southbank Centre and the London Eye.

The Hungerford Bridge crosses the River Thames in London, and lies between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It is a steel truss railway bridge – sometimes known as the Charing Cross Bridge – flanked by two more recent, cable-stayed, pedestrian bridges that share the railway bridge’s foundation piers, and which are named the Golden Jubilee Bridges.

The north end of the bridge is Charing Cross railway station, and is near Embankment Pier and the Victoria Embankment. The south end is near Waterloo station, County Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, and the London Eye. Each pedestrian bridge has steps and lift access.

  • Carries: Railway
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Preceded by: Westminster Bridge
  • Followed by: Waterloo Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design Steel truss

History

  • Opened:
    • 1864 (Hungerford Bridge)
    • 2002 (Golden Jubilee Bridges)

Hungerford_Bridge,_River_Thames,_London,_England

Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, seen from the north

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The Hungerford and Golden Jubilee bridges as seen from the London Eye, with Waterloo Bridge in the background

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Hungerford Bridges—one railway, two pedestrian walkways—and
Charring Cross Station viewed from the London Eye.

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Hungerford Bridges view from the River Thames in London.

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Hungerford Bridges over the River Thames in London.

Westminster Bridge


Cross the Thames at Westminster Bridge if you want to get an iconic picture of Big Ben on the north bank, or the Coca-Cola London Eye to the south. It’s the oldest road bridge across the Thames in Central London, and was designed by the same architect as the Palace of Westminster, Charles Barry.

Westminster Bridge is a road-and-foot-traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side.

The bridge is painted predominantly green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest to the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge, which is red, the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.

In 2005–2007, it underwent a complete refurbishment, including replacing the iron fascias and repainting the whole bridge. It links the Palace of Westminster on the west side of the river with County Hall and the London Eye on the east and was the finishing point during the early years of the London Marathon.

The next bridge downstream is the Hungerford footbridge and upstream is Lambeth Bridge. Westminster Bridge was designated a Grade II* listed structure in 1981.

  • Carries: A302 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Lambeth Bridge
  • Followed by: Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Total length: 820 feet (250 m)
  • Width: 85 feet (26 m)
  • No. of spans: 7

History

  • Designer: Thomas Page
  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 18 November 1750
    • (second bridge) 24 May 1862

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Westminster Bridge

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Westminster Bridge by Joseph Farrington, 1789 (the original bridge)

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The first Westminster Bridge as painted by Canaletto, 1747

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Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge over the River Thames in London.

Lambeth Bridge


Charles Dickens may have considered the 1862 Lambeth Bridge “on the whole, the ugliest ever built,” but it does provide great views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye.

Lambeth Bridge is a road traffic and footbridge crossing the River Thames in an east-west direction in central London. The river flows north at the crossing point. Downstream, the next bridge is Westminster Bridge; upstream, the next bridge is Vauxhall Bridge.

The most conspicuous colour in the bridge’s paint scheme is red, the same colour as the leather benches in the House of Lords, which is at the southern end of the Palace of Westminster nearest the bridge. This is in contrast to Westminster Bridge, which is predominantly green, the same colour as the benches in the House of Commons at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament.

On the east side, in Lambeth, are Lambeth Palace, the Albert Embankment, St. Thomas’ Hospital, and the International Maritime Organization. On the west side, in Westminster, are Thames House (the headquarters of MI5), behind which is Horseferry House (the National Probation Service headquarters), and Clelland House and Abell House (the headquarters of HM Prison Service), and the Millbank Tower and Tate Britain. The Palace of Westminster is a short walk downstream to the north through the Victoria Tower Garden.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′40″N 0°07′23″WCoordinates: 51°29′40″N 0°07′23″W
  • Carries: Lambeth Road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Preceded by: Vauxhall Bridge
  • Followed by: Westminster Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch Bridge

History

  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 10 November 1862
    • (second bridge) 19 July 1932

1280px-River_Thames_and_Lambeth_Bridge-7July2007

River Thames; Lambeth Bridge with Vauxhall Bridge in the distance (as seen from London Eye)

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Detail from upstream with DUKW, Victoria Tower in centre

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Lambeth Bridge from Millbank, facing east towards Lambeth

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The bridge nearest the camera is Westminster Bridge, the next bridge is Lambeth Bridge, and the bridge just visible in the distance is Vauxhall Bridge (as seen from the London Eye observation wheel)

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Lambeth Bridge seen from Albert Embankment, looking north, downstream. Thames House is on the far left.

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Lambeth Bridge 1

Lambeth Bridge 2

Vauxhall Bridge


A Russian delegation which visited the new Vauxhall railway station in the 1840s was so impressed that the word “voksal” entered the Russian language as the word for railway station.

Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a south–east north–west direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge, built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. The original bridge was built on the site of a former ferry.

The building of both bridges was problematic, with both the first and second bridges requiring several redesigns from multiple architects. The original bridge, the first iron bridge over the Thames, was built by a private company and operated as a toll bridge before being taken into public ownership in 1879. The second bridge, which took eight years to build, was the first in London to carry trams and later one of the first two roads in London to have a bus lane.

In 1963 it was proposed to replace the bridge with a modern development containing seven floors of shops, office space, hotel rooms and leisure facilities supported above the river, but the plans were abandoned because of costs. With the exception of alterations to the road layout and the balustrade, the design and appearance of the current bridge has remained almost unchanged since 1907. The bridge today is an important part of London’s road system and carries the A202 road across the Thames.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′15″N 0°07′37″WCoordinates: 51°29′15″N 0°07′37″W
  • Carries: A202 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed
  • Preceded by: Grosvenor Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Lambeth Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Material: Steel and granite
  • Total length: 809 feet (247 m)
  • Width: 80 feet (24 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 39 feet 9 inches (12.1 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer:
    • Sir Alexander Binnie,
    • Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice
  • Opened: 26 May 1906
  • Replaces: Regent Bridge (Old Vauxhall Bridge) 1816–98

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 50,533 vehicles (2004)

Vauxhall Bridge 1

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Pomeroy’s Pottery

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Pomeroy’s Agriculture

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2009 view of Vauxhall Bridge, from upstream on the south bank

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The SIS Building now dominates the southern end of the bridge

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A slipway on the south bank is used by amphibious buses

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Chelsea Bridge


In 1851, during the construction of Chelsea Bridge, which was originally referred to as Victoria Bridge, workmen found Roman and Celtic weapons, as well as human skulls and it was thought that this might have been where Julius Caesar and his army crossed the Thames.

Chelsea Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames in west London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. There have been two Chelsea Bridges, on the site of what was an ancient ford.

The first Chelsea Bridge was proposed in the 1840s as part of a major development of marshlands on the south bank of the Thames into the new Battersea Park. It was a suspension bridge intended to provide convenient access from the densely populated north bank to the new park. Although built and operated by the government, tolls were charged initially in an effort to recoup the cost of the bridge. Work on the nearby Chelsea Embankment delayed construction and so the bridge, initially called Victoria Bridge, did not open until 1858. Although well-received architecturally, as a toll bridge it was unpopular with the public, and Parliament felt obliged to make it toll-free on Sundays. The bridge was less of a commercial success than had been anticipated, partly because of competition from the newly built Albert Bridge nearby. It was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1877, and the tolls were abolished in 1879.

The bridge was narrow and structurally unsound, leading the authorities to rename it Chelsea Bridge to avoid the Royal Family’s association with a potential collapse. In 1926 it was proposed that the old bridge be rebuilt or replaced, due to the increased volume of users from population growth, and the introduction of the automobile. It was demolished during 1934–1937, and replaced by the current structure, which opened in 1937.

The new bridge was the first self-anchored suspension bridge in Britain, and was built entirely with materials sourced from within the British Empire. During the early 1950s it became popular with motorcyclists, who staged regular races across the bridge. One such meeting in 1970 erupted into violence, resulting in the death of one man and the imprisonment of 20 others. Chelsea Bridge is floodlit from below during the hours of darkness, when the towers and cables are illuminated by 936 feet (285 m) of light-emitting diodes. In 2008 it achieved Grade II listed status. In 2004 a smaller bridge, Battersea Footbridge, was opened beneath the southern span, carrying the Thames Path beneath the main bridge.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′5″N 0°9′0″WCoordinates: 51°29′5″N 0°9′0″W
  • Carries: A3216 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Battersea and Chelsea, London
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Albert Bridge
  • Followed by: Grosvenor Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Self-anchored suspension bridge
  • Material: Steel
  • Total length: 698 feet (213 m)
  • Width: 64 feet (20 m)
  • Height: 69 feet 2 inches (21.08 m)
  • Longest span: 332 feet (101 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Piers in water: 2
  • Clearance below: 42 feet 9 inches (13.03 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: G. Topham Forrest and E. P. Wheeler
  • Opened: 6 May 1937
  • Replaces: Victoria Bridge (1858–1935), also known as Old Chelsea Bridge

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 29,375 vehicles (2004)

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With four lanes of traffic, the new bridge’s roadway is much wider than that of its predecessor.

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Being self-anchored, the bridge uniquely in London has no anchoring abutments.

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As a self-anchored bridge, the suspension cables attach directly to the deck and do not extend to the ground.

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Coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea on a Chelsea Bridge lamp post

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Chelsea Bridge’s illuminations

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Rainy day on Chelsea Bridge, London

Albert Bridge


Albert Bridge is a road bridge crossing the Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south. It is one of only two road bridges in London to never have been replaced, despite calls for its demolition during the 20th century when it became clear the bridge was struggling to support an increasing number of motor vehicles. With its unique design and unusual colour scheme, the bridge is now an English Heritage Grade II listed building.

The Albert Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873 as an Ordish–Lefeuvre system modified cable-stayed bridge, it proved to be structurally unsound, so between 1884 and 1887 Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge. In 1973 the Greater London Council added two concrete piers, which transformed the central span into a simple beam bridge. As a result, today the bridge is an unusual hybrid of three different design styles. It is an English Heritage Grade II* listed building.

Built as a toll bridge, it was commercially unsuccessful. Six years after its opening it was taken into public ownership and the tolls were lifted. The tollbooths remained in place and are the only surviving examples of bridge tollbooths in London. Nicknamed “The Trembling Lady” because of its tendency to vibrate when large numbers of people walked over it, the bridge has signs at its entrances that warned troops to break step whilst crossing the bridge.

Incorporating a roadway only 27 feet (8.2 m) wide, and with serious structural weaknesses, the bridge was ill-equipped to cope with the advent of the motor vehicle during the 20th century. Despite the many calls for its demolition or pedestrianisation, the Albert Bridge has remained open to vehicles throughout its existence, other than for brief spells during repairs, and is one of only two Thames road bridges in central London never to have been replaced. The strengthening work carried out by Bazalgette and the Greater London Council did not prevent further deterioration of the bridge’s structure. A series of increasingly strict traffic control measures have been introduced to limit its use and thus prolong its life, making it the least busy Thames road bridge in London, except for the little-used Southwark Bridge. The bridge’s condition is continuing to degrade as the result of traffic load and severe rotting of the timber deck structure caused by the urine of the many dogs using it as a route to nearby Battersea Park.

In 1992, the Albert Bridge was rewired and painted in an unusual colour scheme designed to make it more conspicuous in poor visibility, and avoid being damaged by ships. At night it is illuminated by 4,000 bulbs, making it one of west London’s most striking landmarks. In 2010–2011, these were replaced with LEDs.

  • Coordinates: 51.4823°N 0.1667°WCoordinates: 51.4823°N 0.1667°W
  • Carries: A3031 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Battersea and Chelsea, London
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Battersea Bridge
  • Followed by: Chelsea Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Ordish–Lefeuvre system, subsequently modified to an Ordish–Lefeuvre system / suspension bridge / beam bridge hybrid design
  • Total length: 710 feet (220 m)
  • Width: 41 feet (12 m)
  • Height: 66 feet (20 m)
  • Longest span: 
    • 384 feet 9 inches (117.27 m) (before 1973)
    • 185 feet (56 m) (after 1973)
  • No. of spans: 4 (3 before 1973)
  • Piers in water: 6 (4 before 1973)
  • Clearance below: 37 feet 9 inches (11.5 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Rowland Mason Ordish, Joseph Bazalgette
  • Opened: 23 August 1873

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 19,821 vehicles (2004)

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Albert Bridge

Battersea Bridge


Built in 1890, Battersea Bridge is the narrowest road bridge over the Thames. Before the current bridge was built, the river could be crossed at this point by the very last wooden bridge on the Thames.

Battersea Bridge is a five-span arch bridge with cast-iron girders and granite piers crossing the River Thames in London, England. It is situated on a sharp bend in the river, and links Battersea south of the river with Chelsea to the north. The bridge replaced a ferry service that had operated near the site since at least the middle of the 16th century.

The first Battersea Bridge was a toll bridge commissioned by John, Earl Spencer, who had recently acquired the rights to operate the ferry. Although a stone bridge was planned, difficulties in raising investment meant that a cheaper wooden bridge was built instead. Designed by Henry Holland, it was initially opened to pedestrians in November 1771, and to vehicle traffic in 1772. The bridge was inadequately designed and dangerous both to its users and to passing shipping, and boats often collided with it. To reduce the dangers to shipping, two piers were removed and the sections of the bridge above them were strengthened with iron girders.

Although dangerous and unpopular, the bridge was the last surviving wooden bridge on the Thames in London, and was the subject of paintings by many significant artists such as J. M. W. Turner, John Sell Cotman and James McNeill Whistler, including Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge, and his controversial Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket.

In 1879 the bridge was taken into public ownership, and in 1885 demolished and replaced with the existing bridge, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and built by John Mowlem & Co. The narrowest surviving road bridge over the Thames in London, it is one of London’s least busy Thames bridges. The location on a bend in the river makes the bridge a hazard to shipping, and it has been closed many times due to collisions.

  • Coordinates: 51°28′52″N 0°10′21″WCoordinates: 51°28′52″N 0°10′21″W
  • Carries: A3220 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Battersea Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Albert Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Material: Cast iron and granite
  • Total length: 725 feet 6 inches (221.13 m)
  • Width: 40 feet (12 m)
  • Longest span: 163 feet (50 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 38 feet 9 inches (11.8 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer Joseph Bazalgette
  • Opened 21 July 1890
  • Replaces Old Battersea Bridge (1771–1885) a.k.a. Chelsea Bridge

Statistics

  • Daily traffic 26,041 vehicles (2004)

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Wandsworth Bridge


The current Wandsworth Bridge was opened in 1940, and painted in dull shades of blue to as camouflage against air raids. While the bridge is one of the busiest in London, carrying more than 50,000 vehicles a day, it has been described as “probably the least noteworthy” bridge in the city.

Wandsworth Bridge crosses the River Thames in west London. It carries the A217 road between the area of Battersea, near Wandsworth Town Station, in the London Borough of Wandsworth on the south of the river, and the areas of Sands End and Parsons Green, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, on the north side.

The first bridge on the site was a toll bridge built by Julian Tolmé in 1873, in the expectation that the western terminus of the Hammersmith and City Railway would shortly be built on the north bank, leading to a sharp increase in the number of people wanting to cross the river at this point. The railway terminus was not built, and problems with drainage on the approach road made access to the bridge difficult for vehicles. Wandsworth Bridge was commercially unsuccessful, and in 1880 it was taken into public ownership and made toll-free. Tolmé’s bridge was narrow and too weak to carry buses, and in 1926 a Royal Commission recommended its replacement.

In 1937 Tolmé’s bridge was demolished. The present bridge, an unadorned steel cantilever bridge designed by Sir Thomas Peirson Frank, was opened in 1940. At the time of its opening it was painted in dull shades of blue as camouflage against air raids, a colour scheme it retains. Although Wandsworth Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in London, carrying over 50,000 vehicles daily, it has been described as “probably the least noteworthy bridge in London”.

  • Coordinates: 51.46500°N 0.18806°WCoordinates: 51.46500°N 0.18806°W
  • Carries: A217 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Preceded by: Fulham Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Battersea Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Cantilever bridge
  • Material: Steel
  • Total length: 650 feet (200 m)
  • Width: 60 feet (18 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Clearance below: 39 feet (11.9 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Thomas Peirson Frank
  • Opened:
    • 26 September 1873 (first bridge)
    • 25 September 1940 (second bridge)

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 53,299 vehicles (2004)

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Putney Bridge


Putney Bridge crosses the Thames between Putney and Fulham, and has been the starting point for the annual Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race since it began in 1845. 

Putney Bridge is a bridge crossing of the River Thames in west London, linking Putney on the south side with Fulham to the north. The bridge has medieval parish churches at each end: St. Mary’s Church, Putney is located on the south and All Saints Church, Fulham on the north bank. Putney Bridge is the only bridge in Britain to have a church at both ends.

The current format is three lanes southbound (including one bus lane) and one lane (including cycle lane/bus stop) northbound. Putney High Street, a main approach, is the main axis of a very commercial district centre.

  • Carries: A219 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Hammersmith Bridge
  • Followed by: Fulham Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Total length: 700 feet (210 m)
  • Width: 43 feet (13 m)

History

  • Opened:
    • 29 November 1729 (first bridge)
    • 29 May 1886 (second bridge)

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Hammersmith Bridge


The first boat race between Putney and Mortlake took place in 1845, and Hammersmith Bridge became a popular vantage point. Mayhem ensued, with up to 12,000 people crowding on, causing concern about the strain this was causing to the bridge. Since 1882, the bridge has been closed on race day, but normally takes you between Hammersmith on the north bank across the river to Barnes.

Hammersmith Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames in west London. It allows road traffic and pedestrians to cross from the southern part of Hammersmith in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, on the north side of the river, to Barnes in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, on the south side of the river. The current bridge, which is Grade II* listed and was designed by the noted civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette, is the second permanent bridge on the site.

  • Carries: A306 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure[1]
  • Preceded by: Barnes Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Putney Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Suspension bridge
  • Total length: 700 ft (210 m)
  • Width: 43 ft (13 m)

History

  • Opened:
    • 6 October 1827 (first bridge)
    • 11 June 1887 (current bridge)

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Chiswick Bridge


It was the first of three London bridges opened on the same day. On 3 July 1933, Chiswick Bridge opened at 4.30pm, Twickenham at 5pm and Hampton Court at 5.30pm. Before Chiswick Bridge was built, people would cross the river by ferry.

Chiswick Bridge is a reinforced concrete deck arch bridge over the River Thames in west London. One of three bridges opened in 1933 as part of an ambitious scheme to relieve traffic congestion west of London, it carries the A316 road between Chiswick on the north bank of the Thames and Mortlake on the south bank.

Built on the site of a former ferry, the bridge is 606 feet (185 m) long and faced with 3,400 tons of Portland stone. At the time of its opening its 150-foot (46 m) central span was the longest concrete span over the Thames. The bridge is possibly best known today for its proximity to the end of The Championship Course, the stretch of the Thames used for the Boat Race and other rowing races.

  • Coordinates: 51°28′23″N 0°16′11″WCoordinates: 51°28′23″N 0°16′11″W
  • Carries: A316 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Mortlake and Chiswick

Characteristics

  • Design: Deck arch bridge
  • Material: Reinforced concrete, Portland stone
  • Total length: 606 feet (185 m)
  • Width: 70 feet (21 m)
  • Longest span: 150 feet (46 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 2
  • Clearance below: 39 feet (12 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Sir Herbert Baker and Alfred Dryland
  • Constructed by: Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company
  • Opened: 3 July 1933

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 39,710 vehicles (2004)

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Kew Bridge


Kew Bridge takes you from the train station of the same name across the Thames to Kew Gardens. The Museum of London also holds all the objects presented to King Edward VII on the day the bridge first opened, as it was originally named King Edward VII Bridge. These include the silver mallet and trowel he used, as well as a bronze axe.

Kew Bridge is a Grade II listed bridge over the River Thames in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and the London Borough of Hounslow. The present bridge, which was opened in 1903 as King Edward VII Bridge by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton. It was given Grade II listed structure protection in 1983.

  • Carries A205 road
  • Crosses River Thames
  • Locale Kew
  • Heritage status Grade II listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch
  • Material: Granite
  • Total length: 1,182 feet (360 m)
  • Width: 75 feet (23 m)
  • Longest span: 133 feet (41 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Piers in water: 2

History

  • Designer: John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton
  • Opened: 1903

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The current (third) Kew Bridge

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Twickenham Bridge


Twickenham Bridge was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, the architect of the original Wembley Stadium and a pioneer of the architectural use of concrete. It provides a crossing between Twickenham and St. Margarets, and Richmond.

Twickenham Bridge crosses the River Thames in southwest London, England. Built in 1933 as part of the newly constructed “Chertsey Arterial Road”, the bridge connects the Old Deer Park district of Richmond (historically Surrey) on the south bank of the river to St. Margarets (historically Middlesex) on the north bank, both within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Twickenham Bridge gets its name from the fact that it is on the road to the town of Twickenham (also in the same London borough), which is approximately 3 km upstream from Twickenham Bridge, past Richmond Bridge.

The bridge forms part of today’s A316 (Chertsey Road), which links Central and West London with the M3 motorway at Sunbury-on-Thames.

The bridge’s architect was Maxwell Ayrton and the head engineer was Alfred Dryland. The proposed design of the bridge envisaged four 70 foot towers to be constructed on the riverbanks with retaining walls of 20 feet above road level. The plans were widely opposed and a local petition was organised by the Daily Telegraph against the design on the grounds that it was inappropriate to the setting in Richmond.

The final design of the bridge was of three reinforced-concrete arches supported on concrete piers with Art Deco embellishments. The bridge incorporates three permanent hinges enabling the structure to adjust to changes in temperature, the first reinforced concrete bridge structure in the UK to use such an innovation. The arch springings, as well as the arch crowns, have decorative bronze cover plates.

Ribbed shuttering was used in the casting of the concrete piers and abutments, giving the main faces a ribbed finish that was then knocked back. The approach viaduct and retaining walls were constructed in precast blocks that were wire brushed to create a rough finish. The balustrades and lamps were constructed of open bronzework. The Bromsgrove Guild was employed in casting and fitting the bronze lamp standards and parapets as well as the railings on the four staircases between road level and the river bank.

The bridge was opened on 3 July 1933 by Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 1992, the first Gatso speed camera in the United Kingdom was launched on Twickenham Bridge.

The bridge was declared a Grade II* listed structure in 2008, providing protection to preserve its special character from unsympathetic development.

  • Coordinates: 51°27′38″N 0°18′52″W
  • Carries: A316 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Richmond / St. Margarets
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure

History

  • Opened: 3 July 1933

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Richmond Bridge


Like its neighbour, Richmond Bridge also crosses the Thames between Twickenham and Richmond. Built between 1774 and 1777 as a replacement for a ferry crossing, it is now the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London.

Richmond Bridge is an 18th-century stone arch bridge that crosses the River Thames at Richmond, connecting the two halves of the present-day London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It was designed by James Paine and Kenton Couse.

The bridge, which is a Grade I listed, was built between 1774 and 1777, as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of East Twickenham to the west. Its construction was privately funded by a tontine scheme, for which tolls were charged until 1859.

Because the river meanders from its general west to east direction, flowing from southeast to northwest in this part of London, what would otherwise be known as the north and south banks are often referred to as the “Middlesex” (Twickenham) and “Surrey” (Richmond) banks respectively, named after the historic counties to which each side once belonged.

The bridge was widened and slightly flattened in 1937–40, but otherwise still conforms to its original design. The eighth Thames bridge to be built in what is now Greater London, it is today the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London.

  • Coordinates: 51.45725°N 0.30732°WCoordinates: 51.45725°N 0.30732°W
  • Carries: A305 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale
    • Richmond, London
    • Twickenham
  • Heritage status: Grade I listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Stone arch bridge
  • Material: Portland stone
  • Total length: 300 feet (91 m)
  • Width: 36 feet (11 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 26 feet (7.9 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: James Paine, Kenton Couse
  • Opened: 1777

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 34,484 vehicles (2004)

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Kingston Bridge


At the Kingston end of the bridge, a ducking stool into the Thames for “punishing nagging wives” was recorded as being in use until 1738. It’s a very short walk from the other side of Kingston Bridge to the huge park at Hampton Wick.

Kingston Bridge is a road bridge at Kingston upon Thames in south west London, England, carrying the A308 across the River Thames. It joins the town centre of Kingston in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, to Hampton Court Park, Bushy Park, and the village of Hampton Wick in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In 2005 it was carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day with up to 2,000 vehicles per hour in each direction during peak times.

Kingston Bridge is on the reach above Teddington Lock and close to and downstream of the mouth of the Hogsmill River, a minor tributary of the Thames. It is on the route of the Thames Path and is the end point for the Thames Down Link long distance footpath from Box Hill station.

  • Coordinates 51°24′40″N 0°18′32″W
  • Carries A308 road
  • Crosses River Thames
  • Locale Kingston upon Thames
  • Heritage status Grade II* listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch
  • Material: Stone
  • Total length: 382 feet 0 inches (116.43 m)
  • Height: 23 feet 11 inches (7.29 m)[1]
  • Longest span: 60 feet 0 inches (18.29 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4

History

  • Designer: Edward Lapidge
  • Opened: 17 July 1828

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 50,000 vehicles
  • Toll :Abolished 1870

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Kingston Bridge from upstream at Kingston

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Hampton Court Bridge


The furthest upstream Thames Bridge in Greater London, Hampton Court Bridge crosses the Thames from Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Bridge crosses the River Thames in England approximately north–south between Hampton, London and East Molesey, Surrey. It is the upper of two road bridges on the reach above Teddington Lock and downstream of Molesey Lock.

The bridge is the most upstream crossing of all of the Thames bridges of Greater London; uniquely one bank is within the county.

  • Coordinates: 51°24′14″N 0°20′33″W
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale:
    • East Molesey
    • Hampton Court Palace
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design Arch
  • Material Concrete with a brick finish
  • Height 19 ft 5 in (5.9 m)[1]
  • No. of spans 3
  • Piers in water 2

History

  • Designer
    • W. P. Robinson
    • Sir Edward Lutyens
  • Opened: 3 July 1933

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Hampton Court bridge in 2006

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