Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge: was built between 1886-1894 to straddle the River Thames.  Its design was revolutionary at the time, allowing pedestrians and vehicles across the river, and shipping pass through, using a Bascule (see-saw action) Bridge.  With its steam powered pump engines controlling the hydraulics, giving instant power to raise the bridge.

The bridge consists of two pillars, weighing some 70,000 tons sunk into the river bed, with which to hold the 11,000 tons of steel framework.  The bridge is clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone with a Victorian Gothic style facade to fit in with the Tower of London.

The bridge is 800 feet in length, with two towers, 213 feet high and built upon piers.  The central span measures 200 feet, split in two equal bascules, each weighing in excess of 1,000 tons, which can be raised to allow river traffic to pass.

The two side sections are of suspension bridge design, measuring 270 feet each with suspension rods.  The pedestrian walkways are 143 feet above the river, when viewed at high tide.

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