Eleven years As the bridge's construction took far longer than expected, the term remained. In the end, the new Westminster bridge took more than 11 years to build. It was opened by Queen Victoria on March 25, 1864.
The original idea for a bridge across the Thames at Westminster came from King Charles II who wanted to give his capital city, London, a permanent center to replace Whitehall Palace which had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The first attempt at building one bridge too many came when Sir Hugh Myddelton was awarded the contract to construct the Bascule Bridge over the River Dee in Scotland in 1667 but this bridge lasted only three years before it was destroyed by fire.
It wasn't until 1831 that another attempt was made at constructing a bridge over the Thames at Westminster. This time the job was given to John Rennie who produced a design for a bridge that included two large arches each weighing nearly 20,000 pounds! The king approved of Rennie's proposal and he went on to win the prize money offered for the project. Work began on the new bridge in 1833 and it was opened by Prince Albert on May 1, 1851. However, due to financial difficulties the bridge was not lit at night until 1872 when it became a toll bridge.
It is known as Brunel's Bridge—in fact, the Suspension Bridge's Twitter name is the same—but it was only completed as an homage to the great engineer after his death. It took more than a century for the original designs for a bridge spanning the Avon Gorge to be realized. What was the hold-up?
The first problem was finding a material that could stand up to the weight of vehicles crossing it. Iron was used because it can take compression stress without breaking, but bridges made from this material were heavy. The second problem was designing a structure that would not collapse under its own weight or that of any passing vehicles. The solution came with the introduction of suspension bridges, which use cables instead of iron girders to support the decking above the gorge. This design allows for much lighter structures.
Brunel's Bridge was built between 1824 and 1831 by the Royal Engineer Office in London. Its designer was Robert Stephenson. The total cost was £70,000 (about $1.5 million today).
It took more than a century because there were no adequate materials available for such a large project. Iron was not yet proven capable of withstanding compressive stresses - it would not exist as a reliable material for structural purposes until later in the 19th century. Even today, engineers have trouble designing bridges out of composite materials like carbon fiber because they lack the strength needed for large spans.
Eight years This highway bridge took 8 years to complete, including a two-and-a-half-year halt due to industrial action and other delays. A $230 million replica of the 1983 structure was built in 2010 to improve capacity. It remains open while plans for a new bridge are completed.
The original Mangere Bridge was constructed by the New Zealand Department of Roads between 1947 and 1951. The new bridge is based on the old one with some modifications including wider lanes and a lift system for buses.
The new bridge opened to traffic in November 2010, four months after its construction was completed. The previous bridge was then closed down until further notice.
It's said that God is in his heaven and all's right with the world: but first you have to fix up your house. So it is with nations. While they're busy repairing their houses, something else falls down. The gutter may need cleaning, but not at the expense of the roof.
I believe that if our countries were like homes, we'd all be living in repair shops waiting for someone to come and fix us up so we can go back out into the world again.
Since the new bridge was opened, traffic has been flowing smoothly across it each day. No accidents or incidents have been reported since it opened.