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Fosters' 'wobbly bridge' to reopen following 'war delays'

Work to repair Foster and Partners' 'wobbly bridge' across the Thames should be complete by March 2002 - 21 months after the £18 million project was first due to open.

Engineer Arup is blaming the continuing delay on the late delivery of dampers from US suppliers Taylor Devices. The manufacturer has been working for the US military since the terrorist attacks of 11 September.

The Millennium Bridge - the first footbridge across the Thames - originally opened on 10 June 2000 but closed two days later after large crowds caused it to sway dangerously.Arup has developed a passive damping system to rectify the problem. The final dampers were due to be delivered this week and will be installed in January, which will be followed by an intense period of testing. Arup's own staff will be used in crowd simulations as up to 2,000 people will be marched across the bridge.

The repair work has added a further £5 million bill to the £18 million design. The various parties involved in the project have reached a confidential agreement on how to spread the cost.

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