Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 18:47 UK

Tower Bridge to get 4m facelift

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge was opened in 1894 after eight years of construction

One of Britain's most famous bridges will receive a 4m facelift.

Tower Bridge will be stripped of its traditional paintwork and repainted blue and white as a part of the four year restoration programme.

Works will start this summer and the iconic landmark will stay open until at least the winter of 2010 at which point it will be closed for several months.

A spokesman for The City Bridge Trust, which is funding the scheme, warned of possible road closures.

Work will also start next week to restore nearby Southwark Bridge to its original bright green and yellow.

'Powerful symbol'

Contractors will paint each bridge a quarter at a time to minimise disruption.

Bridge sections will be wrapped in scaffolding to catch old paintwork as it falls, protecting life in the River Thames.

It is hoped the improvements will last at least 25 years.

Clare Thomas, City Bridge Trust Chief Grants Officer, called the restorations "a tribute to London's past".

She described the Tower Bridge project as "a powerful symbol of all the good City of London bridges enable us to do for Londoners".

Tower Bridge, the only raising bridge in London, is crossed by 44,000 motorists and pedestrians a day.

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