In 1796, David Lance held a meeting to propose a bridge over the Itchen to take stage coaches to Portsmouth.
By 1799 a timber toll bridge was completed. The wooden bridge was replaced in 1889 by an iron bridge and tolls ended in 1929 when the town acquired it. The local council rebuilt it in 1937 and the present structure dates from 1955.
The current bridge was the first major pre-stressed concrete road bridge to be built in the United Kingdom. In January 2015 the bridge was partially closed to allow waterproofing work to be carried out at a cost of £1.2m.