Princess Anne To Open Twin Sails Bridge

Poole's £37million Twin Sails Bridge will be officially opened by Princess Anne on Monday 12th March.

But the council have told Heart they're still not sure if it will be open to traffic by then. Vehicle's were supposed to be able to use it from Monday 27th february but there has been a delay while 'finishing touches' are completed.

A spokesperson says they had problems with the lights working over the weekend.

But people still enjoyed their first close-up view of the new bridge on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February 2012. They were invited to walk over it before it opens to traffic.

The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Graham Wilson, said: 

"With Poole Bridge nearing its 85th birthday we wanted to celebrate both the history and future of the town. We are imitating parts of the opening ceremony of Poole Bridge on 9 March 1927 with a civic procession and the cutting of a ribbon. We're delighted that a number of local residents who took part in the 1927 opening are joining us at this event and we are proud to use the same ceremonial scissors that cut the ribbon in the previous opening all those years ago. We hope this event will be another chapter in Poole's rich history."

Meanwhile a two-hour event to mark the completion of the £40 million Twin Sails project will be held on the former power station site in Hamworthy on Friday 9 March 2012 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

It'll feature the world premiere of a new piece of music celebrating the Twin Sails Bridge performed by the world-famous Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It will also showcase new music for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, performed by the Coastal Voices community choir. The Band of Her Majesty?s Royal Marines Collingwood will provide a trumpet fanfare as the Twin Sails Bridge lifts allowing a flotilla of illuminated vessels representative of Poole to pass through the bridge.

Around 1,500 free tickets for this event will be available from the box office at Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts from 11am on Wednesday 29 February. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis to Poole residents and will be limited to four tickets per household.

Poole residents can get tickets in person from Lighthouse Box Office, 21 Kingland Road, Poole or they can  telephone 0844 406 8666. The box office is open from 11am to 8pm, Tuesday to Saturday, for telephone and counter sales, and from 11am to 5pm on Monday for telephone sales only.

Following the conclusion of the official celebrations, there will be live music and street entertainment   on Poole Quay from 7pm, with a firework finale at 9pm.

The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Graham Wilson, added: 

"I am thrilled that local residents have the chance to be part of one of the largest celebrations in Poole's recent history. I look forward to an evening of entertainment in Hamworthy and on Poole Quay. The programme is truly exciting and reflects the world-class design of the Twin Sails Bridge."  

A date for the full opening of the Twin Sails Bridge will be confirmed once the contractor Hochtief (UK) Construction Limited has completed the high-quality finishing works for Poole's much-needed second harbour crossing.  

Jim Bright, Strategic Director, Borough of Poole said: 

"The bridge is looking fantastic and our contractor is working hard on the finishing touches that will make Twin Sails Bridge such a stunning addition to Poole's skyline. As soon as this work is completed and the bridge is formally handed over to the council, we intend to fully open it road traffic at the earliest opportunity."  

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.