I took these photos on my way home from work today. I must cross the Runcorn/Widnes bridge five or six times every day of my life. As a kid I used to think cars crossed it by driving over the actual arched bit and I remember the disappointment when I realised it was just a straight road suspended below. Me and Eddie from work have talked about doing a para glide from the bridge for charity and I think that might still happen at some point.
The main arch is 1,082 feet (330 m) long and each side arch measures 250 feet (76 m). Its height over the river bed is 285 feet (87 m) and the headroom over the ship canal is 80 feet (24 m). The Silver Jubilee Bridge as it’s now known requires constant repainting and for this one coat uses 6,000 imperial gallons (27,277 l) of paint. At the time of its construction it had the third longest steel arch span in the world. It had the longest vehicular span in the country, but this record was held for only a few weeks until the Tamar Bridge was completed. By 2001 it was the 10th longest steel arch bridge and at that time was just 20 centimetres (8 in) short of having Europe‘s largest span.
The bridge was built by Dorman Long who also built the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is the 23rd largest arched span bridge in the world. On a more gruesome note, unhappy people round here often try to end it all by jumping off it!