Newest Review: ... Altogether there are eight suspension cables which support the 108 metre bridge and they pull with enough force to enable 5000 pe... more
That's an expensive bridge!
Millennium Bridge (London)
Member Name: Beanie8844
Millennium Bridge (London)
Advantages: different, good views of London, no traffic
Disadvantages: expensive to build, has had to be closed a few times
The Millennium Bridge is the newest bridge to grace the River Thames since Tower Bridge was built back in 1894. Unlike many of the other bridges in London, it is a pedestrian only bridge, so no noisy traffic to contend with. Situated between Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges, the Millennium Bridge is a suspension bridge design and was actually chosen from a competition which took place in 1996 by Southwark council. Unlike typical suspension bridges the strengthening cables are actually below the bridge, rather odd, but this was done to improve the view for pedestrians as they cross the bridge and also because of height restrictions. Altogether there are eight suspension cables which support the 108 metre bridge and they pull with enough force to enable 5000 people to cross the bridge simultaneously apparently, although I wouldn't like to volunteer for this! The bridge is a fabulous design and right in the heart of London, to the south is the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern, while to the north St Paul's Cathedral can be seen.
Building the bridge
The construction of the bridge began in 1998, but was not officially opened until June 2000, two months later than scheduled. Unfortunately, there were further complications, after two days the bridge has to be closed again. People using the bridge reported it to be swaying and very unsteady, making it extremely difficult to walk across; I can remember seeing the news coverage of this and seeing people very unbalanced as they tried to make their way over from one side to the other. However, the modifications made by builders to the bridge removed the exaggerated vibrations completely, meaning the bridge was once again opened for public use.
My experience of the bridge
Living fairly close to London I have been over the bridge on numerous occasions and when it first opened I thought it was great because there was no other bridge like it in the capital. Now however, the novelty has worn off a little and to me it's just another bridge, although foreign tourists still find it fascinating. In its defence it does offer some fantastic unrestricted views of London and it is good to cross the river on a bridge with no cars. I was staggered by the figure it took to complete the building of the bridge though and I think you will be too.......£18.2 million, that's £2.2 million over budget. I suppose it was always going to be expensive, but that does seem a bit steep to me, it's easy to see why people were so angry when it had to be closed after just two days because of structural problems!
Is it worth visiting?
If you're in London and fancy going over it then fine, otherwise I wouldn't bother, it's just another bridge really. On the plus side it is a tourist attraction and free to cross!
Thanks for reading, enjoy the bridge.
Summary: worth going over if your in London otherwise don't bother