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Foster's 'wobbly' bridge out of action until next autumn

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The 'wobbly'Millennium Bridge looks likely to be closed until at least September 2001, a senior member of the design team told the AJ last week.

As the search for a solution to the bridge's now famous instability nears an end this month, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro revealed that it could take another 10 months before the structure is opened again to the public.The extra delay would bring the bridge's closure to 15 months in all.

Caro is one third of the design team which includes Foster and Partners and Arup, and the sculptor is kept up to date on the progress on the bridge through regular engineering reports.

Caro said that the preferred solution to rectify the sway was to fit 'dampeners' which he said would only sightly alter the appearance of the bridge. Remedial works on the bridge will be put out to tender in the next fortnight.

Millennium Bridge Trust project director Malcolm Redding said he could not confirm or deny the September reopening date.

'Tony may have different information to me, ' he said.

'But no decision has been taken on the remedial work which needs to be undertaken on the bridge.We haven't yet confirmed the scope or extent of the works.We had hoped this would be around now.'

Remedial work will be put out to European tender once the client body - made up of the Trust, the London Borough of Southwark and the Corporation of London - has formally decided on a course of action. The Trust is being advised by Cambridge University engineering professor David Newland and Southwark and the Corporation by WS Atkins.

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