Millennium Bridge

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London


Millennium Bridge

 
The London Millennium Footbridge crosses the Thames between St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern. Its architect, Lord Foster, likened the styling to a ‘blade of light’.

The structure exhibited unexpectedly strong oscillations when subjected for the first time to heavy usage after it opened in June 2000. The effect was amplified when pedestrians subconsciously (and in some cases deliberately, after the problem was discovered) responded to the movement by swaying as they walked, a phenomenon known as synchronous lateral excitation. The bridge was closed while £5 million was spent on retro-fitting shock-absorbing dampers. This successfully eliminated the oscillations but has failed to entirely expunge the nickname ‘the wobbly bridge’.

The bridge exhibits an extreme degree of wobbliness in the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), in which it is attacked by Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters.
 
London Millennium Footbridge with a view towards St Paul's Cathedral, at dawn