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Poole's long awaited second harbour crossing, the Twin Sails Bridge, will open to traffic on Monday 27 February 2012.
This landmark structure stretches across the Backwater Channel providing an additional road link for Poole Town and Hamworthy communities unlocking one of the largest regeneration sites in the South West.
To celebrate the completion of this 20-month construction project a community weekend will be held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February 2012 on the Twin Sails Bridge before it opens to road traffic.
On the Saturday The Mayor of Poole and invited local guests will lead the first group to walk across the Twin Sails Bridge. The Mayor of Poole will then invite all local residents to participate in a walk across the bridge giving a fantastic opportunity to see their new bridge close up.
To mark this special occasion Poole Rotary Club will be offering residents the chance to purchase a commemorative certificate for a minimum £2 donation with all money raised going to local charities. The Twin Sails Bridge will also be available for residents to walk across on the Sunday.
An official opening ceremony will be held on Friday 9 March 2012. This is the anniversary of the opening of Poole's current bridge which opened on 9 March 1927. A free two hour spectacular event will be held on the former power station site in Hamworthy involving music, singing, parades and much more. Due to the capacity of the site this will be a ticket only event. Further celebrations will continue on Poole Quay including music, street entertainment and a firework display at 9 pm.
The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Graham Wilson, said:
"I'm really excited that everyone in Poole has the chance to join me and be part of my Community Weekend to celebrate Poole's second harbour crossing. The event is a unique opportunity for our residents to walk across the Twin Sails Bridge before it opens to traffic on Monday 27 February. I look forward to seeing as many people as possible there.
"The official opening ceremony on 9 March will be an event not to be missed and will be something that all the family can enjoy. We are pleased that celebrations are then continuing on Poole Quay and would urge everyone to join us for an evening of entertainment on the Quay."
Cllr Elaine Atkinson, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said:
"I'm thrilled that Poole's Twin Sails Bridge is weeks away from completion and cannot wait to walk across for the first time. The bridge connects two communities and will ease traffic congestion in the town centre. It is a stunning symbol for the town's ambitions and will unlock Poole's regeneration potential for years to come."
Further information on both events, including details of how residents can obtain their free tickets to the official opening ceremony on 9 March 2012 will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Twin Sails Bridge will provide critical infrastructure for 26 hectares of brownfield land. Over the next 10 to 15 years, this project is expected to deliver 2,000 homes and create up to 5,000 jobs.