The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 26 November 2018 01:00cat

New research about the oscillation of London’s Millennium Bridge

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London’s Millennium Bridge London’s Millennium Bridge

New reseach concerning the oscillation of London's Millennium Bridge, that was closed in 2000, has been published.

The Millennium Bridge is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London. It was forced to close for safety reasons after intense oscillation of its deck occurred when people walked across it during the opening ceremony in 2000. Subsequent research showed that it was the people that caused the bridge to swing. In Particular, a slight move of the span triggered an unusual walking behavior of the pedestrians that caused a feedback loop making the construction unsafe.

15 years later, researchers created a simulation what could take into consideration factors such as shifts in weight, the impact of people walking in patterns or even random actions. However, the model could not include the energy cost of a single person working to stabilize their waddle. In their new model, recently published in the journal Biology Letters, scientists have incorporated the impact of the adjustments people on a single person walking on an unstable surface.

New evidence show that the oscillation can initiate at lower number of pedestrians even if the movement of the crowd is not synchronized. To address the issue, engineers are considering installing dampers at the bridge. This way, wobbling can be effectively mitigated making the bridge safer.



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