Time Required : 1-2 hours
Officially called the London Millennium Footbridge and famously known as the ‘Wobbly Bridge’, the Millennium Bridge, located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge is for pedestrians to cross the River Thames. It is a steel suspension bridge, inaugurated in 2000, which is owned by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust under the City of London Corporation. They are also in charge of its maintenance.
Any bridge along the River Thames requires an Act of Parliament. However, for the Millennium Bridge, the Port of London Authority sought license and permissions directly from the City of London and the London Borough of Southwark.
The bridge’s construction began in 1998 and was funded by the Millennium Commission along with the London Bridge Trust. With GBP 7 million coming in from the Millennium Commission, the bridge took GBP 18.2 million to complete. On its opening day on June 10, 2000, it was estimated to have been crossed by close to 90,000 people, with 2,000 people on the bridge at any given point in time.
During a charity event, the people on the bridge felt an unexpected swaying motion which made everyone uncomfortable that the bridge may crack and collapse. Even limiting the number of people on the bridge didn’t help with this issue. The bridge was closed for re-construction within 2 days of its opening to fix this wobbly motion.
There was a lot of criticism and backlash faced by the stakeholders in this project. It was later reported that the swaying was due to an unconscious human tendency to match footsteps to the sway, thus exaggerating the motion and leading the bridge to have a lateral sway.
Later in 2007, due to a risk for the pedestrians to be blown off the bridge due to strong winds during the Kyrill storm, the bridge was temporarily closed again.
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