There are scores of bridges around London. They encompass ones across the River Thames, those across subterranean rivers, canals and docks, roads and foot bridges and railway bridges. However it is those across the Thames that are referred to as bridges in London. The first of its kind in London across the river appeared in 50 AD. The present London Bridge is built on the site of this river crossing. Most flyovers in the city date from the mid and latter part of the 19th century and the 20th century when the city was expanding rapidly. Richmond Bridge built across the Thames at Richmond dates from 1777.
More than 30 bridges span the Thames at various locations across London. Among the predominantly road flyovers are some railway bridges and a few foot bridges. The oldest is London Bridge. First made of wood it was replaced with a stone one, a granite one and a concrete one in 1973. The 100 year old Tower Bridge is the most recognisable of those in the area today with its distinct design. It is the one that is very much associated with the city and has received the most publicity via the movies and picture postcards. Built in 1894 it is the only one where the middle section can be raised to facilitate river traffic. The present bridge dates from 1973. The Millennium Bridge, a foot bridge that links The Tate Modern Gallery to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the city is the newest and was opened in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. Other noteworthy flyovers are the yellow and green Southwark Bridge commissioned in 1921, Blackfriars road and pedestrian bridge was the second such construction in the city when it was opened in 1769. It was replaced with an iron and steel structure in 1869. Waterloo Bridge was opened in 1945, the only Thames bridge damaged in WWII. Hungerford Bridge is one of two such constructions in London to combine road, pedestrian and rail. Westminster Bridge, a road and pedestrian bridge also provides the best views of the houses of parliament and Big Ben. Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, a cable supported bridge opened in 1991 is one of the city’s newer bridges. Many 19th century bridges feature interesting architectural details and ornate cast iron work.
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