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Hungerford Bridge Photos

Bridge Incidents:

In June 1999, where two men were beaten unconscious and thrown over the railings into the Thames by a gang of six youths. One of the men was rescued but the other drowned. A series of late night attacks in November 2004, on and near the bridges, by homophobic no marks, resulted in the death of one man and serious injuries to several others.

Work on the new bridges was held up due to fear of unexploded world war II bombs on the riverbed..

Hungerford Bridge Photos

Hostile commentators see the bridges as overly complex, a parade of architectural gymnastics that are parasitically attached to a fine functioning bridge. They argue that they lack the drama of a genuine suspension bridge, yet ape some of the characteristics.

Hungerford Bridge Photos  Naoko Yogo

Hungerford (Golden Jubilee) Bridges

Whatever the official title of the current foot crossings here, Golden Jubilee bridges, most people still refer to them as Hungerford and the railway bridge as Charing Cross. The original Hungerford foot crossing started in 1841 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel linking the market to the (then) industrial Lambeth south bank. Brunel's four metre wide footbridge, completed in 1845, was 415 metres long. This reflects the fact that the Thames at the time was broader and crossing the new bridges today it is clear that Brunel's north pier is several yards inland where once it had been in the river. 

The Charing Cross Railway Bridge (completed in 1864) has, in addition to Brunel's original piers and abutments, extra cylinders of cast iron sunk into the bed to support the whole structure The superstructure of each of the 47 metre spans consists of two main girders, to the outer sides of which were suspended cross girders for carrying a couple of two metre wide footpaths on either side of the railway track. This maintained pedestrian access though when the railway bridge was widened in 1882, the upstream footpath was overlaid with railway track. 

The upriver branch of the current crossings was opened first and the footbridges are 320m long and each (at 4.7m) is over twice as wide as the older foot crossing. The decks suspended from sets of cable stay rods radiating out have opened up spectacular views upriver. The views downriver however are not as good as those from the old crossing and the bridges themselves interfere with, rather than augment, other views across the Thames. The two crossings are separate but attached to the railway bridge through outward-leaning pylons secured in place by steel collars fitted around (although not supported by) the pillars of the railway bridge. The white painted metal struts and stays could be seen as a representation of a busy Thames filled with shipping and that the supports resemble masts. Whether this is the intention or not they do hide the railway bridge and as a reviewer in the Times wrote this might be taken as Brunel's revenge, that the steel girder railway crossing is perceived as an eyesore to be masked. 

Hungerford Bridge Photos

Reviews of Cross River Traffic here