Tens of thousands of people lined the harbour to welcome HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home port for the first time.
Weymouth Tower Nearly Completed
The new Weymouth SEA LIFE Tower begins a concerted reach for the skies on Monday (March 12)…which should see it almost at its summit before the end of March.
More 11-ton sections of the central column have arrived from Hungary and the first will be craned into position on Monday ready for skilled engineers to secure it to the base-section.
Also next week, the complex cradle that will ultimately carry the 70-seat viewing gondola will be assembled on site, and carefully slotted over the central column.
"There are then four more column sections to be added, which should take the main structure up to over 40 metres by the end of the month," said General Manager Craig Dunkerley.
"Then the engine room, housing the machinery that raises and lowers the gondola, will be hoisted to the top and fixed in place."
The glass-fronted gondola itself is set to arrive on March 23rd and will be in eleven sections. The process of attaching it piece by piece to the cradle will begin March 28th.
"There has been a bit of a lull in activity since the base section went into place a few weeks ago," said Craig.
"The base concrete needed a full 28 days to cure, ready to take the full weight of the Tower, but the pace is now likely to pick up significantly.
"The should be fairly dramatic transformations every couple of days from Monday onwards, and it's going to be really exciting to see."
When completed, provisionally in early July, the 53 metre tower will lift its passengers above the resort's Festival Pier to enjoy dramatic views of the Jurassic Coast and the Olympic sailing arena.
Operated by Poole-based leisure giant Merlin Entertainments it will form a sister attraction for the company's popular Weymouth SEA LIFE Park.
Lanes will be added on Junction 9 slip roads, the Parkway South roundabout and Whiteley Way approach.
A cyclist in his 60s has died after a crash in the New Forest.
In a UK first, Hampshire firefighters are teaming up with police in a six-month trial.
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