30 meter wide gates open ship traffic.
Underwater giant rotating steel plates close and open the river. upload.wikimedia.org
Construction started in 1974 and the barrier was opened in 1984 by Queen Elizabeth the Second.
More info on Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org Thames Barrier - Wikipedia
7 piers hold the plates and control their movement.
The bridge is giant structure of concrete foundations and steel piers. It was built to save London from floods, and has done just such.
The plate system was designed by Charles Draper, and the barrier was made by the Greater London Council and Costain/Hollandsche Beton Maatschappij/Tarmac Construction consortium, took no the construction. There was no one architect that designed it.
The river is at the mouth of the Thames In London, UK across a 1710 foot wide river stretch.
The bridge has been hit by 15 boats, but never sustained major damage. Although it constantly under maintenance. upload.wikimedia.org
The bridge is a feat of engineering, but therefor the cost was 1.3 billion pounds.
Video of the barrier. safeshare.tv SafeShare.tv - The Thames Flood Barrier...
Video on the gate mechanics. safeshare.tv SafeShare.tv - Film shows how the Thames flood barrier ...
The bridge is located in London, UK, across a 520 meter stretch of river.

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