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Vauxhall Bridge
River Thames, Vauxhall, London
associated engineer
Sir Alexander Binnie
Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice
date  1904 - 26th May 1906
UK era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  TQ300782
ICE reference number  HEW 2340
The present Vauxhall Bridge was first bridge in London to carry a tramway. But this is not the only first as far as bridges go on this site. Its predecessor was the first iron bridge erected over the Thames in London.
The present bridge was authorised by an Act of Parliament passed in 1895. In that it has five arches and is constructed largely of concrete and steel, it is somewhat similar to Lambeth Bridge, which it pre-dates by some 26 years. Its length, at 231.6m, is similar, though it is wider (24.4m).
The central span measures 45.6m and provides 6.3m clearway at high water. The next two spans are 44m wide and the shore spans 39.8m.
The concrete piers and abutments are faced with granite. Their foundations are cased in sheet piling. The masonry of the piers does not continue to full height — in the upper area, the steel frames are faced with steel plate. The distinctive feature is the series of bronze statues, one at each pier.
Until the early part of the nineteenth century, people wanting to cross the Thames at this point would hire a waterman and his boat. John Rennie developed a scheme for a bridge here after 1809 but it didn't go ahead. Parliament passed the Act to allow the construction of the eventual iron bridge in 1812. It was designed by Sir S. Bentham, later modified by James Walker.
The nine-arch iron bridge was seriously damaged by the changes to tidal flow caused by the removal of Old London Bridge in 1831, which had been acting as a kind of tide barrier. Its foundations were repaired several times before its eventual owner, London County Council, decided in 1894 to replace it with the present bridge — begun under the stewardship of Binnie, Chief Engineer until 1902, and completed by his successor, Fitzmaurice.
Bridges Engineer, London County Council (from 1902): W.C. Copperthwaite
Contractors (foundations and piers): Pethick Bros
Contractor (superstructure): Charles Wall
reference sources   CEH LondBB

Vauxhall Bridge