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Battersea Bridge facts for kids

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Battersea Bridge
Battersea Bridge - - 493706.jpg
Carries 2 lanes of A3220 road
Crosses River Thames
Locale London, England
Heritage status Grade II listed structure
Preceded by Old Battersea Bridge (1771–1885) a.k.a. Chelsea Bridge
Design Cantilever bridge
Material Cast iron and granite
Total length 725 feet 6 inches (221.13 m)
Width 40 feet (12 m)
Longest span 163 feet (50 m)
Number of spans 5
Piers in water 4
Clearance below 38 feet 9 inches (11.8 m) at lowest astronomical tide
Designer Joseph Bazalgette
Opened 21 July 1890
Daily traffic 26,041 vehicles (2004)
James Abbot McNeill Whistler 006
Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge by James McNeill Whistler (1872), Tate Britain, London, England

Battersea Bridge is a cast-iron and granite five-span cantilever bridge crossing the River Thames in London, England. It is on a sharp bend in the river, and links Battersea south of the river with Chelsea to the north.

The first Battersea Bridge was a toll bridge. Although a stone bridge was planned, a cheaper wooden bridge was built instead. Designed by Henry Holland, it was opened to pedestrians in November 1771, and to vehicles in 1772. The bridge was poorly designed. Iy was dangerous to its users and to passing shipping. Boats often collided with it. To reduce the dangers to shipping, two piers were removed, and the sections of the bridge above them were strengthened with iron girders.

Although dangerous and unpopular, the bridge was the last surviving wooden bridge across the Thames in London. It was the subject of paintings by Turner, Cotman and Whistler.

In 1879 the bridge was taken into public ownership, and in 1885 demolished and replaced with the existing bridge, designed by Joseph Bazalgette. It is the narrowest surviving road bridge over the Thames in London, and one of London's least busy Thames bridges. The position on a bend in the river makes the bridge a hazard to shipping, and it has been closed many times due to collisions.

In June 2012, the bridge was highlighted on the route of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames. The Battersea Bridge area marked the official start of the parade of ships and boats moving towards Tower Bridge.

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