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New London Bridge?

London is set to get a new bridge, after Mayor Boris Johnson approved plans for a controversial footbridge. The planned bridge will be dotted with plants and trees, and will link the Temple area on the north bank of the Thames with South Bank between Blackfriars and the National Theater. Critics of the £175 million ($275 million) bridge say it's more about attracting tourists than providing real infrastructure, and that the money could be better spent on other needed projects. They also say it costs 5 to 10 times what a footbridge should cost, thanks in part to copper cladding.

While the design for the bridge looks fantastic, as a tourist I'd have to go out of my way just to see and use the bridge. Unlike the Millennium Bridge just a bit downstream, which connects the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theater on Bankside with St. Paul's Cathedral on the opposite shore, there's not much on either side of the proposed site that would attract me to the area. And I know that if it were built in the San Joaquin Valley, where I live, the copper would disappear before the bridge was even finished, soon to be found in a local recycling yard.

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