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.