In 1892 the village of Suspension Bridge (formerly Niagara City) was joined with it under a city charter, which has been frequently amended.
Brunel constructed the towers and abutments for a suspension bridge of 702 ft.
Span at Clifton over the Avon, but the project was not then carried further; in 1860, however, the link chains of the Hungerford suspension bridge which was being taken down were available at small cost, and these were used to complete the bridge.
Devorgilla's bridge, below it, built of stone in 1280, originally consisted of nine arches (now reduced to three), and is reserved in spite of its massive appearance for foot passengers only, as is also the suspension bridge opened in 1875.
A curious chain suspension bridge across the Merrimac, connecting Newburyport with Amesbury, was built in 1827, replacing a similar bridge built in 1810, which was one of the first suspension bridges in America.
The suspension bridge dispenses with the compression member required in girders and with a good deal of the stiffening required in metal arches.
The merit of the simple suspension bridge is its cheapness, and its defect is its flexibility: This last becomes less serious as the dead weight of the structure becomes large in proportion to the live or temporary load.
At Chushul there is an iron chain-and-rope suspension bridge over the deepest part of the river, but it does not completely span the river, and it is too insecure for use.
Below Bristol the valley becomes the Clifton Gorge, famous for its wooded cliffs and for the Clifton suspension bridge which bestrides it.
This is a suspension bridge with a central portion, between two lofty and massive stone towers, consisting of bascules which can be raised by hydraulic machinery to admit the passage of vessels.