Tower bridge was built in between 1886 to 1896 it is a combined suspension bridge in London that covers River Thames. In the 19th century with the increased development in the east of London there was a requirement for a new crossing downstream of London Bridge. Building a traditional fixed bridge was not possible as it would be disconnecting the access by tall misted ships to the port facilities in the pool of London.
A special council or subway committee was brought up in 1877 to find a solution for river crossing problem. It was chaired by Sir Albert Joseph Altman. More than fifty designs were submitted to be consider for the construction along with one submitted by the civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette. Evaluation of the design became a very controversial but it was not until a design submitted by Sir Horace Jones, a city architect in 1884.
Sir John Wolfe Barry made a plan of a Bascule Bridge consisting of two towers built on piers. The central span was divided into two equal Bascule or leaves which could be raised in need of passing river traffic. There were two spans with the suspension rods that were anchored carefully both at the abutments and using rod contained within the bridges upper walkways.
Construction of the bridge started in 1886 and took eight years including five major contractors who employed 432 workers. To support the construction, two massive piers containing 70,000 tons of concrete were sunk into the river bed. In between construction, Jones died in 1887 and George D. Stevenson took over the construction ahead. The bridge was 800 feet in length and 213 feet in height. The total cost of construction was £1,184,000.
The official opening ceremony was conducted in June, 1894 it was headed by The Prince of Wales, and he was the future king Edward with wife. The bridge connected the Iron Gate at the north bank of the river with horselydown Lane on the south known as Tower Bridge. In the beginning there was entire hydraulic system with gas lightening system that was installed by the William Sugg & Co. ltd. Later on it was upgraded with the electrohydraulic system.
In order to keep control over the river passage there was a system developed and implemented that would be giving indications for pedestrians. Different lights were used in order to display the bridge is whether open or closed and what are directions for people walking over the river passage.