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Tower Bridge,is a bascule bridge in London, England over the River Thames.
It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London and is sometimes mistakenly called London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream.
Design: In the second half of the nineteenth century, increased commercial development in the East End of London led to a requirement for a new river crossing downstream of London Bridge. A Special Bridge or Subway Committee was formed in 1876. The evaluation of the designs was surrounded by controversy, and it was not until 1884 that a design was approved.

Design was for a bascule bridge 800 feet (244 m) in length with two towers each 213 feet (65 m) high, built on piers. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers was split into two equal bascules which could be raised to an angle of 83 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tons each, were counterbalanced to minimize the force required and allow raising in one minute.
Construction started in 1886 and took eight years, employing five major contractors and 432 construction workers.
The bridge was opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark.

River traffic is now a fraction of what it used to be, but it still takes priority over road traffic.

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Additional Photos by ANDREA FEDERICI (presidente) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 0 N: 160] (1122)
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