Cross River Traffic - A history of Londons bridges
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T oday, June 30, , marks the th anniversary of our beloved London landmark. A good time to delve into its back story The below image represents how Tower Bridge might have looked. More than 50 designs were submitted, including the below by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
The judging process was highly controversial, but a design by Sir Horace Jones - who sat on the panel - was eventually approved. Jones died soon after construction began and George D.
Stevenson took over, giving Jones's original brick facade a more ornate Gothic style. The bridge originally linked Iron Gate, on the north bank, with Horselydown Lane, on the south. Five companies and workers worked on it.
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It has 70, tons of concrete in foundations only and some 10, tons of steel and is covered in Cornish granite and Portland stone as means of protection for steel structure and as an esthetic element. Prince and Princess of Wales officially opened the bridge on 30th of June The bridge is close to the harbor so it was necessary for it to be made in a way that it can allow passing of ships. Machines that lift bascules were hydraulic steam machines until when they were replaced with electro-hydraulic drive system.
Some of the old steam machines are left as a tourist attraction and is a part of the museum tour of a Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is still in function and is still a major crossing of the Thames. Daily, some 40, people cross it in both directions.
125 today: The fascinating history of London's Tower Bridge
While it was controlled manually from the beginning, in , a computer controls system was installed so bascules could be raised and lowered remotely. Bascules are raised around 3 times a day and a 24 hours' notice is needed from a ship that needs pass. After they were closed in , walkways were reopened in as a part of a Tower Bridge Exhibition.
In , Bridge Tower entered renovations that lasted four years.