The lifting sections of Tower Bridge will be closed until April 2011 for restoration work

Large or tall-masted vessels will be unable to pass through Tower Bridge for the next five months. The lifting sections of the bridge, known as bascules, will be permanently shut until the end of March to allow restoration work to be carried out.

Navigation for boats able to pass beneath the bascules while they are closed should be unaffected. The final bascule lift before closure will take place between 11pm on 27 October until 5am the following day to facilitate the painting of areas inaccessible when they are in its down position.

The four-year, £4 million programme to restore Tower Bridge began in 2008, and the new blue and white paint used will last for 25 years. Tower Bridge was officially opened in June 1894 and used to be raised about 50 times a day, but nowadays it is only raised around 1,000 times a year.

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