In 1967 the Severn Bridge was opened. It took the M4, the motorway from London and the south-east across the Severn estuary into South Wales. In the early 1990s it became very obvious that it couldn't cope with all the traffic that was using it and a second bridge was built. It was opened in 1996. I have a long and deep attachment to the Second Severn Crossing. So many civil engineering projects are ugly, functional or just crap, but I see this bridge as a thing of beauty. I have used it many times and would dearly love to have all the toll money I have spent on it over the years refunded. I'm sure it would be enough to get me around the world. But even that doesn't stop me admiring this bridge.
The strange thing is that I have only ever seen it from on the bridge itself, or in the far distance, and once or twice from above. Last week-end I went to the little village of Severn Beach to take photos of the bridge from below and from close by.
For the statistically minded, the bridge is a little over five kilometres long. It has to cope with quite a lot because, although the tide was out when I visited it, the Severn estuary has the third highest tidal reach in the world and it can take quite a pounding when the wind is blowing from the west straight up the Bristol Channel.
I couldn't get to a position to take pictures of the other side of the bridge, or the old bridge, because there was a film crew at work, which was blocking the path. They wouldn't let me go through so I'm going to have to go back again and walk along the shoreline from one bridge to the other. I've no idea what they were filming, it was certainly a drama of some kind because they had police vehicles and 'crime scene' tape all over the place. I will just have to wait and see.