STYLEVIBES

THE TOWER BRIDGE OF LONDON

Tower Bridge is one of the iconic bridges in the World. Built in London between 1886 and 1894, the combination bascule and suspension Tower Bridge was planned by Horace Jones and engineered by John Wolfe Barry with assistance from Henry Marc Brunel. It is a Grade I listed structure. The tower bridge is one of five London bridges owned and managed by the Bridge House Estates, a charity trust established in 1282, and spans the River Thames near to the Tower of London. The bridge was built to improve access to London's East End, which had increased its commercial potential in the previous century. In 1894, Edward, Prince of Wales and Alexandra, Princess of Wales officially opened the bridge.



The bridge is 800 feet long (240 m) and is made up of two 213-foot (65 m) bridge towers connected at the top by two horizontal walkways, as well as a pair of bascules in the middle that can be opened to let ships pass. The operating system's hydraulic power source was changed to an electro-hydraulic system in 1972. With 40,000 daily crossings, the bridge serves as a key thoroughfare and is a component of the A100 London Inner Ring Road, which marks the edge of the London congestion charge zone. The twin towers, high-level walkways, and Victorian engine rooms of the bridge are all included in the Tower Bridge Exhibition, however the bridge deck is open to both vehicles and pedestrians on a free basis. The Tower bridge is one of the most attracted structures in England.


History

A new river crossing was needed downstream of London Bridge as a result of the East End of London's important commercial growth in the late 19th century. Because it would prevent sailing ships from using the port facilities in the Pool of London between London Bridge and the Tower of London, a traditional fixed bridge at street level could not be constructed. In order to get a good solution to the problem, a Special Bridge or Subway Committee led by Sir Albert Joseph Altman was created in 1877. More than fifty designs were offered, including one by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer, which was turned down for not having enough headroom. It wasn't until 1884 that it was decided to construct a bascule bridge that a design was accepted. Sir John Wolfe Barry was selected as the engineer for the project, and Sir Horace Jones was selected as the architect (who was also one of the judges). In 1885, a Parliamentary Act approving construction was passed. According to the specifications, the opening span would have a clear width of 200 feet (61 meters) and 135 feet of headroom (41 m). The style of the design had to be Gothic. Barry then created a bridge with two towers that are supported by piers. Two equal bascules, or leaves, were divided into the middle span and could be raised to let river traffic pass. The two side spans were suspension bridges with rods fastened to the abutments and inside the upper walkways of the bridge.


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