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BBC News Front Page  |  UK  |  In Depth  |  Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge
INTRO WHAT HAPPENED? THE SOLUTION
1. PLAN 2. ELEVATION Click on the highlighted areas
The Millennium Bridge - Plan
The first proposal was to stiffen the structure and therefore reduce the chances of movement.
The second proposal was to limit access and modify how people crossed the bridge by using street furniture such as bollards and barriers.
The designers ruled out both of these options because they would have changed the shape and look of the bridge.
Instead, the engineers decided on damping mechanisms - giant shock absorbers which limit the bridge's response to external forces.
Dampers are used in bridges and buildings around the world, especially in areas prone to earthquakes.
The second benefit of dampers is that most of them would be beneath or within the structure and therefore generally hidden from public view.
The engineers needed some dampers to counter movements of less than 1mm and others to counter much more powerful forces.
The team decided to use two systems in tandem: Viscous dampers, similar to car shock absorbers, and tuned mass dampers, a large mass stiffened by springs.
Click on the highlighted areas to see how they work.
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