Humber Bridge (1981) Kingston upon Hull, England
The Humber Bridge is a tolled three span suspension bridge near Kingston upon Hull in the north east of England. At a total length of 2,220m, it is the seventh longest suspension bridge in the world. It spans the Humber Estuary linking North Lincolnshire with Yorkshire East Riding.
The Estuary was a barrier to trade and development in the area and local interests campaigned for more than 100 years for the construction of a bridge or tunnel to replace an inadequate ferry crossing. Hull merchants first proposed a tunnel scheme in 1872 and other proposals followed over the years. Hull City Council advanced plans for a multi-span truss bridge in the 1920’s but the project was abandoned due to lack of funding caused by the Great Depression.
Finally, in 1959 the Humber Bridge Act was passed which approved the construction of a bridge and established the Humber Bridge Board to raise funds and manage the project. Further delays ensued and construction work did not begin until 1973. The project took eight years and the bridge opened to traffic on 24th June 1981.
The bridge was developed from a design which was previously used for the Severn Bridge and comprises 3 spans, 2 side spans of 280m and 530m and a main span of 1410m. The two towers are 155m tall, the north tower is sited on land at the high water line and the south tower in the river 500m from the shoreline. The deck is 30m above the river and carries four lanes of traffic with a lower level foot and cycle path on either side.
The bridge is not without critics who often cite the vast overrun in the cost of the project, from an original estimate of £28 million to more than £98 million, but its supporters argue that this is outweighed by the fact that it has made accessible two previously isolated areas of England thereby accelerating industrial, commercial and tourism development in the area.
More than 120,000 vehicles use the bridge each week.