Detective Shaw’s London: Tower Bridge
The bridge over the Thames which more than any other is considered a symbol of London is undoubtedly Tower Bridge, so called because it connects the village of Southwark to the Tower of London, located on the western edge of the borough of Tower Hamlets, on the border with the City.
The Tower Bridge is made up of two towers, connected by a road, which constitutes the central span, and by pedestrian walkways running above it. The former is made up of two mobile portions, which can be raised to allow the passage of taller boats. On both sides there are as many spans, which are proper suspension bridges.
Its construction was completed in 1894, and initially the opening mechanism was powered by steam engines, which remained in operation until 1976. Nowadays, these are replaced by the latest modern technologies, which allow their complete opening in just ninety seconds.
It is also true, however, that the bridge is opened quite rarely (about a thousand times in a year, therefore less than three per day), so much so that it is said that seeing it open brings good luck. However, the Victorian engines are still present within the structure and can be visited.
Pedestrians can also access the high-level walkways (renovated in 2009), which have a glass floor, and from there enjoy a fascinating view of the city and the river. To do this they have to climb almost three hundred steps, but they can also take a lift. The walkways often host special exhibitions and other events.
Access to the Victorian walkways and engine rooms is included in the Tower Bridge Exhibition and is possible upon payment of a ticket, which can also be purchased online. These are open every day of the year, except for 24, 25, and 26 December.
Tower Bridge underwent a four-year renovation from 2008 to make it ready for the Olympics and Paralympics, which were held in London…