Concert will take it to the bridge

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The Independent Online

You could guess that when it came to commissioning a piece of music for London's Millennium Bridge – closed for its excessive wobbling – that the company that built it was not going to ask the Beach Boys for a reworked version of their 1967 hit "Good Vibrations".

Instead, a concert with music written by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, will celebrate the opening of the "wobbly" bridge, almost two years after it was opened and then shut over the course of a weekend.

Arup, the engineering company, first approached Sir Peter last June about preparing a piece for the opening ceremony on 6 March. The British composer spent a long period on the bridge while it was still suffering from the wobbles that led to it being shut on safety grounds.

The £18.2m bridge was opened in June 2000 but had to close within two days after huge crowds crossing it on the opening days caused it to sway from side to side. To fix that, huge dampers have been fitted at a cost of £5m, to absorb the energy of people walking over the bridge.

Arup insisted that it could not have predicted the movement – although it emerged after the opening that precisely the same problem had been seen in two sites elsewhere in the world, although neither of them was an Arup design.

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