Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Millenium Bridge

The Millenium Bridge opened on 10 June 2000 as London's first new Thames crossing in more than 100 years. This modern 320m long structure was designed by the architect Sir Norman Foster with sculptor Sir Anthony Caro and engineers Arup. This whole project cost 18 million pounds for construction and 5 million pounds for various modifications. It was opened by The Queen. 

80.000 people crossed the bridge on its opening day. Although the bridge was designed to take the weight, suddenly it developed a very worrying and obvious wobble, giving it the famous name - the Wobbly Bridge. The structure started to sway and twist in regular oscillations, however the engineers insisted the bridge would not fall down. 

The engineers finally decided that the best solution to this serious problem were damping mechanisms, i.e. giant shock absorbers which limit the bridge's response to external forces. Dampers are used in bridges and buildings around the globe, especially in areas prone to earthquakes. Also the dampers are hidden beneath or within the structure, thus the bridge's icon is not altered in any way.

1 comment:

  1. Bridges are really important for people and societies and they also bear various symbolisms.

    A bridge in a simple sense links two different sides. It can signal attempts to build a bridge and heal some differences.