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Clifton Suspension Bridge, Clifton, Bristol, England, 12th May 2004. Posted by Hello

This marvelous piece of engineering was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Building worked started on it in 1836 and was completed in 1864 after Brunel's death. It is 702 feet across the Avon Gorge, and is (I can tell you this from my own experience) very high above the river below. It is still used today as a major traffic route between the City of Bristol and the nearby district of North Somerset (the other side of the river). Cars pay a toll, but pedestrians can walk across is for free.

However, last year, when the nearby Ashton Court Music Festival and Bristol Balloon Fiesta were both on, there were safety concerns when, late at night, hundreds of festival-goers stormed across the bridge in numbers far greater than normal daily activity, and experts feared the vibrations were pushing the bridge to its limits. This year the bridge was closed for these events, and will be for any future such events, for fear that the "unthinkable" may one day happen. The bridge does, however, continue to be open the rest of the time.

If anybody is ever down that way, I highly recommend visiting it. Considering it was built 140 years ago, it is quite fantastic.


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