Royal Destatinations - United Kingdom - London - Tower Bridge

On the occasion of the 90th. B-day of Queen Elizabeth, there will be a
few Royal Destinations logs on this blog about London.

The most iconic symbol of London is of course the amazing Tower Bridge
over the River Thames.

Tower Bridge London - Own Picture


History

In the second half of the 19th. century the East End area of London increased
her commercial development and a new bridge was needed. However a fixed
bridge couldn't be built due to the ship traffic over the River Thames.

In 1877 a Special Bridge or Subway Committee was founded. The design of
Sir Horace Jones, a City Architect, was approved. It was Sir Jones' engineer
who launched the idea of a bascule bridge with two towers.

In 1887 the construction works started. This took eight years with five major
contractors: Sir John Jackson, Baron Armstrong, William Webster,
Sir H.H Bartlett and Sir William Arrol & Co.

Tower Bridge London - Own picture


Royal Link

On June 30th. 1894 the Tower Bridge was officially opened by
The Prince of Wales (the later King Edward VII) and his wife the
Princess of Wales (Princess Alexandra of Danmark).

Other important dates for the Tower Bridge

1942: During World War II, a third engine was installed as precaution against the
          enemy actions

1974: the operation mechanism was largely replaced by new electro-hydraulic
          drive

1982: the Tower Bridge exhibition opened and housed in its Towers

From 2008-2012: a facelift took place

2012: Olympic games in London


Interesting Facts

* the bridge is 800 feet or 240 meters long between the two towers

* the main deck carries to lanes of road traffic and it is crossed over by 40,000 people
   every day (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians)

* a replica of the bridge was built in the town of Suzhou in China.


On the Tower Bridge in London - Own picture