Canadian Consulting Engineer

Arup has pay for wobbly London bridge

London's wobbly Millennium Bridge reopened at the end of February, with crowds of people making the crossing over t...

March 14, 2002   Canadian Consulting Engineer

London’s wobbly Millennium Bridge reopened at the end of February, with crowds of people making the crossing over the Thames River without becoming dizzy or having to grip the handrails. The white-painted bridge near St. Paul’s Cathedral originally opened in June 2000, but had to be closed the next day because it was too unstable.
Consulting engineers Arup had to bear much of the cost of the remedial work, which amounted to five million pounds (approximately Cdn. $14 million). Lord Foster of Thames Bank, the bridge designer, was quoted in the Times newspaper as say he would jump off it if it wobbled again.
To stabilize the bridge the engineers fitted it with 90 custom-built shock absorbers. The strategy apparently worked, though after 2000 walkers tested it in Febraury, the project director for the Millennium Bridge Trust said in the Times that “There is still some life in it. People can feel that they are on a beautiful supsension bridge, but there is no more discomfort and certainly no need to cling on to the handrails.”


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