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Tinsley viaduct

Tinsley viaduct is a two-tier road bridge in South Yorkshire, England; the first of its kind in the country. It carries the M1 and the A631 some 1033 metres over the Don Valley, from Tinsley in Sheffield to Meadow Hall in Rotherham. It is located at 53°25' North, 1°24' West.

The viaduct was opened in March 1968 and cost 6 million to build. It was designed to carry three lanes of traffic each way on the top (motorway) deck, but this has since been reduced to two lanes following an EU directive on load bearing. The bridge was strengthened in 1983.

The viaduct is balanced on rollers to counter the vibrations of the wind and traffic, and the route weaves slightly in order to make its way past other buildings. As things currently stand, the Meadowhall Shopping Centre lies in the valley to the west, while to the east is the Blackburn Meadows sewage works.

The viaduct is one of Sheffield's most prominent landmarks, made all the more so by the adjacent pair of cooling towers that were left standing for safety reasons after the demolition of the Blackburn Meadows power station. Both the viaduct and the cooling towers continue to be the subject of local controversy: many criticise the viaduct as unsafe and constantly under repair, and others consider the cooling towers an eye-sore that should be pulled down. The cooling towers in particular have been a major arguing point over the years, and were once only saved from destruction after being chosen as a nesting site by a rare bird. More recently, their iconic status, and the possibly prohibitive costs of demolishing the towers safely, would seem to have rested the debate.