Twickenham Bridge

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Twickenham Bridge
Middlesex, Surrey
Twickenham Bridge 320r1.jpg
Location
Carrying: A316 road
Crossing: River Thames
Location
Location: 51°27’38"N, 0°18’52"W
Structure
No. of spans: 3
History
Built 1933
Architect: Maxwell Ayrton
Information

Twickenham Bridge crosses the River Thames between Twickenham in Middlesex and Richmond in Surrey. Built in 1933 as part of the newly constructed "Chertsey Arterial Road", the bridge connects the Old Deer Park district of Richmond on the south bank of the river to St Margarets on the north bank. Twickenham Bridge gets its name from the fact that it is on the road to the town of Twickenham, which is approximately two miles upstream from Twickenham Bridge, past Richmond Bridge.

The bridge forms part of today's A316 (Chertsey Road), which links central and western London with the M3 motorway at Sunbury-on-Thames.

The bridge's architect was Maxwell Ayrton and the head engineer was Alfred Dryland. The proposed design of the bridge envisaged four 70-foot towers to be constructed on the riverbanks with retaining walls of 20 feet above road level. The plans were widely opposed and a local petition was organised by the Daily Telegraph against the design on the grounds that it was inappropriate to the setting in Richmond.

The final design of the bridge was of three reinforced-concrete arches supported on concrete piers with Art Deco embellishments. The bridge incorporates three permanent hinges enabling the structure to adjust to changes in temperature, the first reinforced concrete bridge structure in the UK to use such an innovation.[1] The arch springings, as well as the arch crowns, have decorative bronze cover plates. Ribbed shuttering was used in the casting of the concrete piers and abutments, giving the main faces a ribbed finish that was then knocked back. The approach viaduct and retaining walls were constructed in precast blocks that were wire brushed to create a rough finish.[2] The balustrades and lamps were constructed of open bronzework. The Bromsgrove Guild was employed in casting and fitting the bronze lamp standards and parapets as well as the railings on the four staircases between road level and the river bank [3]

The bridge was opened on 3 July 1933 by Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 1992, the first speed camera in the United Kingdom was launched on Twickenham Bridge.[4]

The bridge was declared a Grade II* listed structure in 2008, providing protection to preserve its special character from unsympathetic development.[5][6]

Twickenham Bridge – a panorama looking downstream

References

  1. Twickenham Bridge at 75 – Transport for London accessed 5 July 2009
  2. Engineering timelines accessed 5 July 2009
  3. The Bromsgrove Guild - an Illustrated history
  4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/road-safety/9272478/Speed-cameras-20-years-on.html
  5. London bridges get listed status (BBC News) accessed 26 November 2008
  6. National Heritage List England no. 1253011: Twickenham Bridge accessed 27 November 2008

Outside links