- Severn Bridge
caption=The Severn Bridge seen from the English side of the river. From 1966 to 1996, the bridge carried the
M4 motorway. On completion of the Second Severn Crossing the motorway from Olvestonon the English side to Rogietwas renamed the M48
Severn Estuary River Wye
South West England/South East Wales
8 September 1966
long=:"For the Ontario community, see
Severn Bridge, Ontario"
:"Not to be confused with
Second Severn Crossing"
The Severn Bridge (Welsh: "Pont Hafren") is a
suspension bridgespanning the River Severnbetween South Gloucestershire, just north of Bristol, England, and Monmouthshirein South Wales, via Beachley, a peninsulabetween the Severn and Wye estuaries. It is the original Severn road crossing between England and Walesand took five years to construct at a cost of £8 million. [cite web | title=Construction cost | work= M48 Severn Bridge - Closures to Install Cable Drying | url= http://www.pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=70347&Itemid=9 | accessdate=2008-05-12] It replaced the Aust ferry.
The bridge was opened on
8 September 1966by Queen Elizabeth II, who hailed it as the dawn of a new economic era for South Wales. The bridge was granted Grade I listed status in 1998. [cite web | title=Severn Bridge and Aust Viaduct | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=469289 | accessdate=2006-12-22]
The first proposal for a bridge across the Severn, approximately in the same location as that eventually constructed, was in 1824 by
Thomas Telford, who had been asked to advise on how to improve mail coachservices between London and Wales. No action was taken, and over the next few decades the railways became the dominant mode of long-distance travel, with a rail bridge at Sharpnessbeing opened in 1879 and the main line Severn Tunnel in 1886. However, the growth of road traffic in the early 20th century led to further calls for improvements, and in the early 1920s Chepstow Urban District Councilconvened a meeting of neighbouring local authorities to consider a Severn crossing to ease congestion and delays on the A48 passing through the town. In 1935 Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire County Councils jointly promoted a Parliamentary Bill to obtain powers to build the bridge over the estuary, with 75% of costs to be met by the Ministry of Transportfrom the Road Fund. However, the Bill was rejected by Parliament after opposition from the Great Western Railway Company. [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m4wales.htm IHT site - M4 in Wales] ]
World War II, plans began to be made for a nationally funded network of trunk roads, including a Severn Bridge, for which the contract was awarded to Mott, Hay and Anderson, with Freeman Fox and Partners. However, because Government funding was prioritised for the similar Forth Road Bridge(opened in 1964), construction of the Severn Bridge was not started until 1961. The substructure was completed by contractors John Howard and Co in 1963. The superstructure contract was awarded to Associated Bridge Builders Ltd in 1963, and completed in 1966. In parallel, the Wye Bridge was built by Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co.. [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m4severn.htm IHT site - Severn Bridge] ]
The Severn Bridge crossing consists of four structures, which, listed in order from England to Wales, are: the Aust Viaduct, Severn Bridge, Beachley Viaduct and Wye Bridge.
The Aust Viaduct is a twin box girder structure with a concrete deck, which carries the
roadwayto the first gravity anchorageof the old Severn Bridge. The roadway is then carried over the top of the concrete anchorage to the Severn Bridge.
The Severn Bridge is located close to the former
Aust Ferry. The bridge is a suspension bridge of conventional design, with the deck supported by two main cables slung between two steel towers. The bridge is convert|5240|ft|m|abbr=on|lk=on long, consisting of a the convert|3240|ft|m|0|abbr=on central span between the towers and the two convert|1000|ft|m|0|abbr=on side spans. The towers rise to convert|445|ft|m|0|abbr=on above mean high water and are of hollow box construction. The deckis an orthotropic steel box girder of aerofoil shape with cantilevered cycle tracks and footway supported from the box. The shape of the bridge was determined by the designers Freeman, Fox and Partners following wind tunnel tests for the Forth Road Bridge, after the original wind tunnel model was accidentally destroyed. The sections of the deck were built at Fairfield-Mabeyin Chepstow, and each 132 tonne section was then floated down the river before being hoisted into position. The construction was undertaken by Sir William Arrol & Co.and completed in 1966.
The Beachley Viaduct is also of similar box girder construction as the Severn Bridge but is supported on steel trestles as it crosses the Beachley peninsula. The peninsula contains an army camp, which the bridge crosses.
The Wye Bridge is a convert|1340|ft|m|0|abbr=on long
cable-stayed bridge, which crosses the border marked by the River Wyebetween England and Wales, convert|2|mi|km|lk=on south of Chepstow. It consists of a single large cable stayed section with two single-leg pylons supporting the bridge deck from the centre of the roadway. The deck is an orthotropic box girder similar to the Severn Bridge but has a different appearance as it has two sets of cable stays on each of two towers. Originally there was only one set of cable stays but these were replaced during the strengthening works in the late 1980s.
The Severn Bridge crossing was strengthened and resurfaced in the late 1980s as the weight of traffic grew. The work included the strengthening of the Severn Bridge towers and deck, an extension to the existing Wye Bridge towers and the replacement of the original single stays with two stays. The open structure of the new stays is designed to facilitate maintenance. Most of the strengthening work was inside the deck box and towers and so is not visible. The surfacing is a convert|35|mm|in|1|abbr=on|lk=on thick layer of mastic
asphaltover an acrylic waterproofing membrane.
The road is only two carriageways of two lanes in each direction, and as traffic volumes grew it became a major bottleneck. At its peak, it was carrying 50,000 vehicles a day. The burden of maintenance also became unmanageable, so that by the 1990s a second Severn crossing was necessary. Since the construction of the second bridge, the original crossing carries 15,000 vehicles day, 25% of the total traffic traversing the estuary.
Shortly after the opening of the Severn Bridge, Anglo-Welsh poet
Harri Webbwrote an "Ode on the Severn Bridge": [cite web | url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldhansrd/vo990217/text/90217-05.htm | title= Lords Hansard Text | work= UK Parliament Publications & Records | date= 17 February 1999| accessdate= 2007-07-05 ] :"Two lands at last connected":"Across the waters wide,":"And all the tolls collected":"On the English side."
The toll is indeed collected on the English side, and only on vehicles travelling westwards from England to Wales, leading some people to describe it as a "tax on entering Wales", both in jest, and also as a more serious anti-toll campaign. [cite news | publisher= The Western Mail | date=
31 August 2004| url= http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/tm_objectid=14586893&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=road-toll-activist-calls-on--zeta-name_page.html | title= Road toll activist calls on Zeta | accessdate= 2007-07-05 ] Originally, tolls were charged in both directions, but the arrangements were changed in the early 1990s to eliminate the need for a set of toll booths for each direction of travel and the potential for traffic waiting to pay the toll backing up onto the bridge itself.
As of January 2008, the toll is £5.30 for a car, increasing to £15.90 for a
heavy goods vehicle. [ cite web | url= http://www.severnbridge.co.uk/Tolls2008.pdf | format=PDF | title= Severn Bridge Tolls | work= Severn River Crossing PLC | accessdate= 2008-01-01] Motorcycles and disabled badge holders are exempt from the tolls, although both must stop at the toll booths to have their eligibility confirmed. The tolls for the Second Severn Crossing are the same, although in this case, the tolls are collected on the Welsh side, the longer approach viaducts making queueing on the bridge less of an issue. A system known as the Severn TAGmade by Amtechis also in operation, which allows drivers to pay electronically without having to stop at the toll booths. TAGs are available either on a per-trip or a seasonal basis, although only the latter attracts a discount.The cycle path and footpath, which run along either side of the roadway, may be used free of charge.
40 year inspections
During its 40th year of operation, the bridge was inspected to check for corrosion of the suspension cables. According to the
Highways Agency, [cite web | work= Highways Agency| url= http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/newsroom.aspx?newsid=17715337 | title= Possible restrictions for M48 Severn Bridge | date= 29 September 2006| accessdate= 2007-07-05 ] the inspection concluded that the bridge needed restrictions on heavy goods vehicles. [cite web | work = BBC News | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5389714.stm | title= HGVs curbed on old Severn Bridge | date= 29 September 2006| accessdate= 2007-07-05 ] Such vehicles are now restricted to one lane on the bridge, with weight restriction signs in place. A system of installing a rubber casing on the cables with dry air circulation is to be used on the Forth Road Bridgeand a similar system may be implemented on the Severn Bridge, in a move to halt the progress of the corrosion. [cite web | work= BBC News | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/6425649.stm | title= Severn Bridge's corrosion problem | date= 7 March 2007| accessdate= 2007-07-05 ]
List of Severn bridges
Aust Severn Powerline Crossing
* [http://www.severnbridge.co.uk/ Severn River Crossing PLC]
* [http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469289 ST58NE Aust M4 motorway] - Images of England (photos of listed buildings)
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolavconsole/ukfs_news/hi/bb_rm_fs.stm?news=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nol_storyid=5329072 Bridge celebrates 40th birthday] (video), "BBC News",
8 September 2006
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bristol/content/image_galleries/severnbridge_anniversary2_gallery.shtml Archive pictures of the bridge being built (BBC)]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bristol/content/articles/2005/11/22/pwaod_opening_feature.shtml Video of the Queen opening the bridge in 1966 (BBC)]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m48/ Motorway Database: M48]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bristol/webcams/camera.shtml?h=han&camid=43955®ion=91&mapregion=bbc_west Severn Bridge traffic webcam]
* [http://www.striguil.co.uk/images/chepstow/bridgeav.jpgAerial shot of Severn Bridge]
* [http://www.sbe.hw.ac.uk/staff/arthur/frbpc/april2005/images/Severn%20Bridge%20at%20Sunset_jpg.jpgSevern Bridge at sunset]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40633000/jpg/_40633021_bridge300245.jpgWye Bridge]
* [http://www.cotch.net/images/thumbs/wb_02.160px.jpgWye Bridge]
* [http://www.imaginatorium.org/pics/10wye4s.jpgWye Bridge]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Severn Bridge — the Severn Bridge a ↑suspension bridge over the River Severn, which joins southwest England with South Wales … Dictionary of contemporary English
Severn Bridge — 51.609 2.63847Koordinaten: 51° 36′ 32,4″ N, 2° 38′ 18,2″ Wf1 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Severn Bridge — a high suspension bridge (= a bridge that hangs from cables supported by towers at each end) which carries the M4 motorway over the river Severn between south west England and south Wales. It was built near Bristol in the 1960s. A second motorway … Universalium
Severn Bridge, Ontario — is a small community in the District of Muskoka in the province of Ontario, in Canada. It is located around 100 kilometres north of Toronto, on the Severn River, roughly halfway between Orillia and Gravenhurst. Its population is around 300 (as… … Wikipedia
Severn Bridge Junction — is the area of railway lines at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, controlled by the signal box of the same name. Housing a 180 lever frame it is the largest remaining mechanical signal box in the UK and is thought to be the 2nd largest in the… … Wikipedia
Severn crossing — is a term used to refer to the two motorway crossings over the River Severn estuary between England and Wales. The two crossings are: *The Severn Bridge (Welsh: Pont Hafren ) *The Second Severn Crossing (Welsh: Ail Groesfan Hafren ) The first… … Wikipedia
Severn (disambiguation) — Severn may mean:Persons* Claud Severn * Dan Severn * Joseph Severn (English portrait and subject painter) * Severn Cullis Suzuki, environmental activist, speaker, television host and author * Severn Darden * Severn Teackle Wallis * James Windsor … Wikipedia
Severn — Die Severn Bridge, an der Grenze zwischen England und Wales, von der englischen Seite.Vorlage:Infobox Flus … Deutsch Wikipedia
Severn Barrage — The Severn Barrage is the name of a number of ideas for building a barrage from the English coast to the Welsh coast over the Severn tidal estuary. Ideas for damming or barraging the Severn estuary (and Bristol Channel) have existed since the… … Wikipedia
Severn-Brücke — 51.609 2.6384 Koordinaten: 51° 36′ 32,4″ N, 2° 38′ 18,2″ W f1 … Deutsch Wikipedia