London’s famous Tower Bridge has become stuck in its open position for the second time in a year, snarling traffic on both sides of the River Thames.
- The bridge was stuck in its open position for more than three hours
- The 127-year-old drawbridge also jammed last August because of a mechanical fault
- Normally it opens about 800 times every year to allow large ships to pass
Images of the 127-year-old drawbridge, one of several spans that connect the northern and southern parts of the British capital, showed the two halves of the roadway pointing skyward with vehicles backed up on either side.
The bridge became stuck shortly before 2:45pm Monday local time (11:45pm AEST). It was still jammed more than three hours later.
“Due to a technical issue, Tower Bridge is currently stuck in a raised position,” the City of London Corporation, which owns the bridge, said in a statement.
“We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
The bridge opens about 800 times a year to allow large ships to pass, with the times arranged at least 24 hours in advance.
Tower Bridge was repaired in 2006 after its mechanism became stuck four times the previous year.
Malfunctions have been less frequent since then, with the last incident reported on August 22, 2020, when it was stuck for more than an hour.
In May 1997, US president Bill Clinton was separated from British prime minister Tony Blair when the bridge opened before his motorcade could cross. In that case there was no technical fault. Just bad timing.