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Feet first


London's first new river crossing for more than 100 years will connect Southwark and the City of London, providing a 330m long pedestrian link between St Paul's Cathedral and Bankside, the site of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art and the new Globe Theatre.

The Millennium Bridge is the result of an international competition organised by the Financial Times in 1996. Of the 226 entries, five were shortlisted to the second stage and the competition was won by a team of Ove Arup & Partners, architects Foster & Partners, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro and cost consultants Davis Langdon & Everest.

Main contractor for the bridge works is a joint venture between Monberg Thorsen and Sir Robert McAlpine (MTM). Piling was carried out by Bachy Soletanche. Enabling works were undertaken by Balfour Beatty.

Half of the funding comes from the Millennium Commission. The rest is made up of contributions from the London Borough of Southwark, the Corporation of London and various private and corporate sponsors, the largest of which is the HSBC.

'Pedestrians using neighbouring river bridges come a poor second to the traffic,' explains Craig Bradley, project manager for the London Borough of Southwark, joint client with the Millennium Bridge Trust.

'The bridge will offer a more friendly environment with stunning views across the river.'

Ground conditions were investigated by Norwest Holst Soil Engineering in July and August 1998. Boreholes were sunk at the abutments and at the river pier locations. The stratigraphy comprises Made Ground overlying a sequence of Terrace Gravels, London Clay and the Lambeth Beds.

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