It was completed in 1870, and was a project of the Metropolitan Board of Works. The original motive was the need to provide London with a modern sewage system. Another major consideration was the relief of congestion on The Strand and Fleet Street. The project involved narrowing the river. The construction work required the purchase and demolition of much expensive riverside property. The tunnels were built underneath the Embankment. At ground level, in addition to the new roads, two handsome public gardens were laid out. One of these backs onto the government buildings of Whitehall, and the other stretches from Hungerford Bridge to Waterloo Bridge. The gardens contain many statues, including a monument to Bazalgette.
The Victoria Embankment starts at Westminster Bridge, just north of the Palace of Westminster, then follows the course of the river bank north, past Hungerford Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, and then ends at Blackfriars Bridge. The lovely Whitehall gardens are often missed by the visitor walking the embankment across the road. Opened in 1870 the gardens stretch parallel with the Victoria Embankment along the Thames from Westminster Bridge and Parliament to Blackfriars Bridge. The Gardens are lined with a whose who of British statesmen, War Heroes and great figures in history including General Gordon and the Victorian Prime Minister Gladstone. The Gardens are a joy to walk though well tended lawns and artistic floral designs are a treat to the eye. The Ships that permanently moored by Victoria Embankment include HMS President and HQS Wellington. Other attractions include Cleopatra's Needle.