The bridge is the easternmost road bridge crossing the River Thames and was opened 30th October 1991. There are few bridges east of the City of London because they prohibited tall ships entering the Pool of London. It was only the second bridge to be constructed downstream of London Bridge in over a thousand years. It is the second longest cable-stayed bridge, 812 metres, in the UK.
It is an imposing sight and marks the flow of the Thames into the estuary. Once only an area of industry there are now marshlands beneath its span.