Northam Bridge in Southampton was the largest of its kind in Europe when it opened in October 1954.

But it frusted engineers and locals by making an annoying noise.

Rapid progress was being made on the bridge construction in March 1953, as evident in this series of photographs taken during a site visit by a photographer from the Echo.

Despite its rigorous design, engineers grew increasingly exasperated due to a consistent rattling noise that plagued the structure.

It eventually required a painstaking operation to replace bolts and an expansion joint on the carriageway taking traffic out of the city centre. It was finally completed in 1969.

The current Northam Bridge being built.The current Northam Bridge being built. (Image: Echo)

The original Northam Bridge, built in 1799, stood proudly as a wooden structure until it was eventually replaced by a sturdy iron bridge in 1889. This iron bridge served the city until July 15, 1954, when the third and current Northam Bridge was completed, just nine days after its predecessor was retired. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the council in Southampton had decided to construct a new bridge to replace the second version.

A tender for its construction was accepted in the summer of 1939 and contractors had already moved in some of their equipment by the time war was declared.

The old Northam Bridge.The old Northam Bridge. (Image: Echo)

Throughout the war, the bridge endured damage from bombs, prompting significant repairs and reinforcement efforts to be undertaken throughout the wartime years.

Civic leaders put forward plans to the Ministry of Transport in 1948 to build a reinforced concrete construction.

Northam Bridge in recent years.Northam Bridge in recent years. (Image: Echo)

Upon learning about the limited availability of steel and cement following the war, they were advised to explore the potential of pre-stressed concrete. Subsequently, four years later, construction had commenced.