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DAMPENED SPIRITS

Work to fit experimental dampers to the central span of London's infamous £18M Millennium Bridge has begun.

Structural engineer Arup is funding the £250,000 cost of the retrofit and a programme of trials designed to validate its proposed £5M solution to the lateral sway problem that led to the landmark structure's embarrassing closure only days after it opened on 9 June (NCE last week). Although Arup's proposals feature a unique combination of more than 60 viscous and tuned mass dampers, only one pair of 'chevron-braced' viscous dampers and a temporary TMD will be installed under the deck for the trials.

Up to 300 members of Arup's staff will act as guinea pigs later this year.

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