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Published on Jul 27, 2012
Tower Bridge (built 1886--1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge's present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee. Originally it was painted a mid greenish-blue colour. Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream.
In June 2012, to mark the countdown of one month to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic games, giant Olympic rings were suspended from the bridge. The rings which cost £259,817 to produce weigh three tonnes and are 25 metres wide and 11.5 metres tall. The rings are attached to a modular aluminium grid which is 17 metres by 22 metres. Together they weigh about 13 tonnes. After the closing of the Olympics, to celebrate the start of the Paralympic games, The Agitos, the giant swirling symbol of the Paralympic movement, will replace the rings on Tower Bridge.