In 1996, a competition was held
to design a new footbridge over the Thames, which was won
by the architects Foster & Partners, sculptor Anthony
Caro and engineers Ove Arup and Partners The shallow suspension
bridge was a built in 2000 - 01.
Linking St Paul's to Tate Modern,
Bankside, the Millennium Bridge was the first completely new
pedestrian bridge to be constructed over the Thames for a
hundred years. The innovative structure achieves a simple
form that spans the river as an elegant 'blade'. At
night the illuminated bridge is said to form a 'Blade of Light'.
In 2001 a few days after its
inauguration, it developed an 'unexpected wobble', and the
structure was closed to the public until a 'passive dampening
solution' was installed to cure the problem.
Hidden beneath the bridge, the
dampening system has not spoilt its elegant lines.
A new restriction was also introduced
to limit the number of people allowed on the bridge at any
one time. The Millennium Bridge was re-opened to the
public in 2002 and since then has shown no signs of wobbling.