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Budapest plaque honours William Tierney Clark

A PLAQUE to commemorate the civil engineer William Tierney Clark, who designed a suspension bridge over the Danube in the 1840s, was unveiled in Budapest last week.

Clark, who was made a Fellow of the Institution in 1823, built several similar suspension bridges in the UK But the Thames Bridge in Marlow, built in 1832, is the only survivor still standing today.

The idea for a bridge over the Danube came from one of the counts of Budapest, who had to cross the river by ice drift and promptly made plans for an alternative.

The chain bridge, completed in 1848, linked the Buda and Pest areas of the Hungarian capital and was a symbol of social change as a toll had to be paid by every user, including the nobility, for the first time.

The Budapest Bridge Union appointed Clark to design the bridge which took six years to build.

One of the first crossings was by 70,000 soldiers of the Austrian army who were going to crush the Hungarian revolution. The last crossing of the original bridge was made by the retreating German army which then blew it up in 1944.

The 380m bridge was rebuilt after the Second World War.

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