Wednesday, April 28, 1999 Published at 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Work starts on Millennium bridge
The bridge will be lit to form a "blade of light" across the river
Work on the Millennium Bridge - the first river crossing in central London for more than a century - has been launched by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Due to open in April 2000, designers say the bridge will afford spectacular views over the capital, lighting up at night to form a "blade of light" across the river.
It will have stainless steel balustrades and handrails, and an aluminium deck.
About four million pedestrians a year are expected to cross free of charge the four-metre wide bridge which will be open for 24 hours.
It has been designed by a collaboration of top architects Foster and Partners, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro and Chris Wise of the Ove Arup engineering company.
The main works contract has been let to the joint venture team of Sir Robert McAlpine and Danish bridge-building experts Monberg Thorsen.
Funding for the project includes £7.1m from The Millennium Commission - and a £3.5m grant from the Corporation of London.