London’s famous footbridge gets revamp and clean-up

Millennium Bridge will be closed for up to three weeks for round-the-clock maintenance work – and a thorough clean.

A view of Millennium Bridge with the Shard in the background
  • Published: 4 October 2023

The footbridge, which links St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London with the Tate Modern on the south bank of the Thames, will close from Saturday, 14 October.

It will allow for the replacement of the synthetic membrane which separates the bridge’s steel structure from its aluminium bridge deck.

The bridge is one of five owned and maintained by 900-year-old charity City Bridge Foundation at no cost to the taxpayer.

To ensure it is completed as quickly as possible the work, being carried out by contractor FM Conway, will continue 24 hours a day, but will not generate a lot of noise, with power tools not used between 9pm and 8am.

City Bridge Foundation Chairman Giles Shilson said:​“Since it opened to mark the new Millennium, the bridge has become a much loved and very well-used fixture on the London landscape, but it is starting to show its age.

The separation layer under the bridge deck has started to degrade, which means it’s having an adverse effect on the bridge deck and needs addressing urgently.

Replacing this layer is a time-consuming process, meaning we have no option but to close the bridge for three weeks and to work round the clock to get it done as quickly as possible.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience but hope people will understand we do need to do this work, and will see the benefits after we give the bridge a much-needed deep clean that will leave it looking as good as new.”

The bridge will close at 8am on Saturday, 14 October and reopen on Sunday, 5 November, or sooner if the work is completed more quickly.

Signed pedestrian diversion routes will be in place via Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.

Millennium Bridge has enjoyed a colourful history, initially known as the​‘wobbly bridge’ due to issues when it first opened in 2000. It subsequently passed into the ownership of City Bridge Foundation.

The charity also owns Tower, London, Southwark and Blackfriars bridges, and is London’s biggest independent charity funder, awarding grants of over £30 million a year to charities across the capital.