Tower Bridge will remain open overnight and could cause further traffic problems on Tuesday after being closed to the public and motorists due to a technical defect.
The London landmark, one of several bridges over the Thames that connects central and southern parts of the city, was due to open on Monday afternoon to allow a large wooden tall ship to pass.
But the 127-year-old bridge was closed to traffic and pedestrians after a “technical failure” could no longer close its flaps properly and got stuck in its raised position from around 3 p.m.
The problem caused traffic problems for several hours which, according to Transport for London travel updates, could not be largely resolved until around 9 p.m.
Pictures from the crime scene on Monday afternoon showed long lines of traffic on either side of the bridge, which is owned, financed and managed by the City of London Corporation.
A company spokesman told PA Media: “Due to a technical problem, Tower Bridge is currently stuck in an elevated position. We are working on solving the problem as soon as possible. “
It is not known how long the bridge got stuck. City of London police asked the population to avoid the area. The police said in a tweet: “Tower Bridge is currently closed to traffic and pedestrians due to a technical defect. Please avoid the areas. Updates will follow. “
Tower Bridge was built in Victorian times and is considered to be one of the most famous bridges in the world. It connects the Square Mile with Southwark and was opened in 1894 after eight years of construction. His bascules are typically raised about 800 times a year.
Tower Bridge was previously closed to the public last August after a “mechanical failure” caused it to remain open for more than an hour. Engineers fixed it and it reopened to motorists the next day.
In 2005, police locked the bridge for 10 hours after a technical problem prevented the arms from being lowered.