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Whitby Bird guarantees York bridge will be 'wobble-free'

Whitby Bird is nearing completion of its £2.5 million York Millennium Bridge after thoroughly checking it for the 'wobble-factor' which hit Foster and Partners' swaying bridge over the Thames.

The 160m long bridge over the River Ouse features a single inclined arch of stainless steel set at 50degrees, from which the deck is suspended. It will open next month after being floated into position this week. 'Since the wobble-factor first came to our attention after the bridge over the Thames, we got to talk to the people concerned who could help us understand what the problems were, 'Mark Whitby told the AJ last week, refusing to name names.

After reanalysing the bridge - which uses a completely different kind of suspension system than the Ove Arup and Partners-engineered London Millennium Bridge, the engineers were satisfied it would not exhibit the same problems.The London Millennium Bridge has remained officially closed since June when 100,000 people crossed it.

Whitby said that as an engineer he now describes his job to the public as someone who makes things stand up and renders them 'wobble-free', but criticised the nontechnical media for having an 'obsession' about the phenomenon. The York structure, a pedestrian and cycle bridge, is only similar in name, he said.

Ove Arup and Par tners sa id that i t w i l l make pub l ic i ts final report into the problems about the London bridge next week. The engineer is understood to have proposed two types of damping systems and a third scheme which stiffens the structure.

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