Vauxhall Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Vauxhall Bridge.

  • The Vauxhall Bridge is a an arch bridge that crosses the River Thames in London, linking Vauxhall and Pimlico.

  • It is made from steel and granite and opened in 1906.
  • Vauxhall Bridge replaced Regent Bridge (later known as Vauxhall Bridge), which was used from 1816 to 1898.
  • When the new Vauxhall Bridge opened, it was the first London bridge to carry trams.
  • Today, the bridge is an important transport link, carrying the A202 road across the Thames.
  • The bridges piers are decorated with 8 vast bronze statues, designed by Alfred Drury and Frederick Pomeroy. The statue titles include, Agriculture, Architecture, Education, Fine Arts and Engineering. They are not visible from the bridge itself.
  • The Architecture statue holds a model of St Paul’s Cathedral in her hand.
  • The government was concerned that the bridge would be bombed during World War 2, but it survived the Blitz.
  • In 1993, in the River Thames next to Vauxhall Bridge, archaeologists discovered the remains of on of the earliest bridge-like structures in London. It has been dated between 1550 BC – 300 BC and historians think it had been dismantled before Julius Caesar‘s Roman expedition to Britain.
  • The bridge was designed by Sir Alexander Binnie and Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice.
  • It has total length of 247 metres, and it is 24 metres wide.

Forth Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Forth Bridge.

  • The Forth Bridge is a railway bridge spanning the Firth of Forth in Scotland. It is located less than ten miles from the city of Edinburgh.

  • It is a cantilever bridge and was opened on 4th March 1890.
  • The bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker.
  • Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and was completed in 1890.
  • One end of the Forth Bridge is in the village of South Queensferry and the other is in North Queensferry.

Forth Bridge

  • When it was opened, it was the longest single cantilever span in the world.
  • The Forth Bridge is more than 2400 metres in length, and has a height of 110 metres above the high water mark.
  • The bridge is sometimes called the Forth Rail Bridge.
  • The bridge was one of the first massive structures in the UK to be made of steel.
  • At some points during the bridge’s construction, more than 4500 men were working on the structure.

The Forth Bridge

  • More than 70 people died working on the project. The Forth Bridge Memorial was erected to honour those who had lost their lives.
  • During World War 2 a German air attack took place over the Forth Bridge. It became known as the the Forth Bridge Raid, but the bridge wasn’t the target, and it was never damaged during the war.
  • In 2015, the Forth Bridge was declared a World Heritage Site.
  • More than 180 trains cross the bridge every day.
  • The image of the Forth Bridge appeared on £1 coins issued in 2004.
  • The bridge, an iconic Scottish landmark, has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including The 39 Steps, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
  • The phrase ‘like painting the Forth Bridge’ is used to describe a seemingly endless task.
  • More than 6 million rivets were used in the original construction of the bridge.

Infinity Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Infinity Bridge.

  • The Infinity Bridge crosses the River Tees in Stockton-on-Tees in northern England, about a kilometre from Stockton town centre. It links the University of Durham with the Teesdale Business Park.

  • It was opened in 2009 at a cost of 15 million pounds, for cyclists and pedestrians. Today, an estimated 6,000 people a day cross the bridge, a number that is expected to rise.
  • An international architectural design competition was set up so that designs for the bridge could be submitted. Over 200 different designs were received, with the winners being Expedition Engineering.
  • The bridge opened on May 14, 2009 with a light and sound show in front of 20,000 spectators. Several extreme athletes also climbed up the bridge arches, carrying flares.
  • The bridge’s name came from suggestions made by the public. The Infinity Bridge was chosen because the infinity symbol is made by the shape of the bridge and its reflection.
  • The bridge is 240 metres long with a span of 120 metres. Its height is 40 metres and there is a clearance of 8 metres from the bridge to the river below.
  • At night, the walkway across the Infinity Bridge is lit by white and blue LED lighting. The colours change, as people walk across the bridge.
  • The Infinity Bridge is one of over 40 bridges crossing the 137 km River Tees. In 1992, the Princess of Wales Bridge was opened, often called the Diana Bridge.
  • In 2009, the Infinity Bridge won an award for structural excellence, the most important such award in the UK. It has also won a Concrete Society award, and a Green Apple environmental award.
  • The bridge is part of a 320 million pound redevelopment of the area. Nearby Teesport is now one of Britain’s largest and busiest ports, with much of its land reclaimed from the sea.

Millennium Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Millennium Bridge in London.

  • The Millennium Bridge crosses the River Tames in London, linking the City of London to Bankside and the Tate Modern gallery. It opened in 2000, after taking two years to build.

  • It has a span of 144 metres and is 4 metres wide.
  • The 8 cables supporting the walkway allow for 5,000 people to be on the bridge safely at the same time.
  • The Millennium Bridge was the first new bridge over the Thames since Tower Bridge was built in 1894. There are over 200 bridges that cross the Thames, and 27 tunnels.
  • Sculptor Anthony Caro and architect Norman Foster designed the bridge’s innovative look. The bridge is owned and operated by a charitable trust, Bridge House Estates.
  • The bridge was nicknamed the ‘wobbly bridge’ after it opened, as pedestrians discovered it swayed when walked across. It was closed until 2002, so improvements could be made.
  • Bridges wobbling or vibrating can be a common problem. Albert Bridge, which also crosses the Thames, has a sign warning marching groups of soldiers to break step when crossing.
  • The Millennium Bridge has featured in several films since it opened. It is attacked and collapses into the River Thames in the 2009 film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
  • Because the Millennium Bridge is in an old area of London, archaeological excavations took place along the river bank before it was built. The remains of several buildings from the Middle Ages were excavated.
  • There are several other Millennium Bridges in the UK and around the world. In Britain, Glasgow, York, Manchester, Lancaster and Gateshead all have bridges of the same name.
  • One of the best views of St. Paul’s Cathedral is enjoyed from on the bridge. Today, many views of the cathedral are protected, meaning that tall buildings can’t be built to spoil the view.

Bridge of Sighs: Facts and Information About the Ponte dei Sospiri

Here are some facts about the Bridge of Sighs.

  • The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most popular sights in Venice, Italy. It crosses the Rio di Palazzo and connects part of the Doge’s Palace with the new prison.

  • It was built of white limestone in 1600, and designed by Antonio Contino. It is one of 400 bridges in the city, which cross 400 canals.
  • Nobody is certain how the Bridge of Sighs got its name. It may have been from prisoners sighing as they walked across the bridge to the prison.
  • The bridge was built from white limestone from Istria, about 200 km away. The outside of the bridge is lined with sculptures of happy and sad faces.
  • There are several other bridges around the world with the same name. The Bridge of Sighs at the Venetian casino in Las Vegas is an exact copy, but smaller. There are also ones in Cambridge and Oxford in the UK.
  • Tradition has it that a couple will be happy forever if they kiss in a gondola at sunset under the bridge. The 1979 film A Little Romance has a plot based on this legend.
  • A tourist was hit in the leg by a piece of marble falling from the bridge in 2007. The incident led to restoration of the bridge which cost the equivalent of 3 million pounds.

Bridge of Sighs

  • Casanova was one of the most famous people to walk across the Bridge of Sighs. However, he was able to escape from the supposedly secure prison after being held for just 15 months.
  • The Romantic poet Byron mentioned the bridge in an 1812 book. He wrote “I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs; a palace and a prison on each hand.”
  • Inside the bridge are two narrow passages separated by a wall, and windows covered with grills. The interior can only be seen by visitors who go on a guided walk of the Doge’s Palace.

Severn Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Severn Bridge.

  • The Severn Bridge crosses the River Severn between Wales and southwest England. The 1.6 km bridge links north Bristol in England to Chepstow and Caldicot in South Wales.

  • The Queen opened the bridge in September, 1966. Until 1996, it carried the M4 motorway, until a second bridge was built nearby; today the M48 motorway crosses the bridge.
  • Thomas Telford, the engineer, first suggested a bridge across the Severn in 1824. The growth of road traffic during the 20th century led to the idea being revisited.
  • The longest span on the Severn Bridge measures almost 990 metres. The bridge has a height of 136 metres and the clearance from the road surface to the river below is 47 metres.
  • Ferries have been crossing the River Severn since as far back as the 12th century. When the Severn Bridge opened, it replaced the Aust Ferry, which had been in operation since 1926.
  • National Cycle Route 4 also crosses the Severn Bridge. The route runs from Greenwich in London to Fishguard in South Wales, and covers a distance of almost 700 km.
  • Drivers crossing the Severn Bridge only need to pay a toll to cross westbound, from England into Wales. Many people have jokingly described this as a tax to enter Wales.
  • The Severn Bridge took about five years to build, at a cost of 8 million pounds. A plaque on the bridge is dedicated to the men who died during its construction.
  • During the first few days after it opened, about 100,000 vehicles crossed the bridge. People stood in line and camped out for several days, to be the first to walk across it.
  • Today, an estimated 20,000 vehicles a day cross the Severn Bridge. As there is no protection against high winds, the bridge is closed when there are dangerously strong gusts.