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In London they have a bridge called London Bridge. It is a bridge over the river Thames, between City of London and Southwark. It lies between to other bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge.
The London Bridge was the only bridge over Thames until Westminster Bridge was opening in 1750. The current bridge was built by building contractor John Mowlem from 1967 to 1972. The new bridge was open by Elisabeth II in 1973. The bridge is 928 feet long.
The London Bridge History:
For nearly 2000 years the bridges has existed near or at the same place were the bridge is today. The first bridge crosses the Thames was built by the Romans around year 46 and it was made of wood. The Romans chose the location because it was deep water access to the sea. After the Romans left the country, the bridge fell into disrepair but it was rebuilt several times.
In 1014 the bridge was burned down by King Ethelred 2. The rebuilt London Bridge was destroyed by a storm in 1091 and again by fire in 1136.
Old London Bridge:
In 1136 the maintainer Peter de Colechurch proposed to replace the timber bridge with a permanent stone construction. To finance the stone bridge the king Vilhelm II decided to collect more taxes. It took 33 years to build the new Stonebridge. It was finished in 1209.
King John wished to build houses on the bridge. It was crowded on bridge. All the buildings made to a great firetrap. In 1212 and 1213 there ware fire on the bridge, more than 3000 people died in the fire.
In 1722 the traffic was so heavy that the Lord Mayor decided to split the traffic, ingoing to the left and outgoing to the right. In 1758 – 1762 all the houses on bridge was removed. The south gate had for 355 years a tradition to display heads of traitors.
New London Bridge
In the early 1800 century it was decided to replace the 600 years old bridge with a new one. The replacement was five stone arches, designed by engineer John Rennie. It took 7 years to build the new bridge (1824-1835). The bridge was built from Dartmoor granite. It was 928 feet long and 49 feet width. In 1902 – 1904 the bridge was widened because of the increasing traffic in London. This was too heavy, so it begun to sink (1 inch in 18 years).
In 1968 the bridge was sold to an American, Robert P. McCulloch. It was said that the American thought he bought the Tower Bridge, but he denied it. The bridge was rebuilt in Arizona, USA and it is the second most visited tourist attraction after the Grand Canyon.
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