The famous landmark was scheduled to open this afternoon to allow a large wooden tall ship through, but it appears to have become jammed in place.
City of London Police said the 127-year-old crossing was closed “due to technical failure”.
The bridge remained stuck open overnight and could cause further traffic problems on Tuesday.
Drivers - and pedestrians - have been warned to avoid the area.
- Construction work began on 22 April 1886 based on a design by City of London architect Sir Horace Jones
- It was opened to much celebration by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 30 June 1894
- The crossing is formed of two “bascules” which move around an off-centre pivot, allowing them to rise (the word bascule is French and can be translated as seesaw)
- Steam was originally used to power the bridge but it was converted to electricity in 1976
- Upon its completion the bridge was considered the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever made
- In 1952 a number 78 bus carrying 20 passengers had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise while it was being driven over
Well, I’ll be blowed …