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13 April 2011, 12:16 | Updated: 13 April 2011, 12:20
The first sections of the iconic lifting leaves for the new Twins Sails Bridge have arrived in Poole.
Delivery of the 25-metre-long triangular sections of steelwork to the construction site in Hamworthy is another step towards the opening of Poole's second harbour crossing in early 2012.
A 500-tonne crane was needed to move each 40-tonne section of steel into position ready for assembly as the first of the bridge's two lifting spans.
Additional steelwork for the second lifting span will be delivered over the next few days.
Jim Bright, Strategic Director, Borough of Poole said: “The delivery of the lifting leaves marks a truly exciting phase in the construction of the Twin Sails Bridge. We can begin to see how the shear size of the lifting leaves will give this iconic landmark a central presence on the Poole skyline.”
Once built, the bridge deck and Twin Sails will be made up of 41 sections of steel being manufactured by in Darlington.
The first deliveries of steelwork for the main bridge deck began in March. Eight sections of steel dominate the construction site alongside the Back Water Channel. A team of specialists from Cleveland Bridge UK are currently welding the steelwork, weighing a combined total of more than 200 tonnes, to form a large section of the bridge deck.
Installation of the decks and leaves will take place during the summer.
The Twin Sails Bridge is scheduled to open in early 2012, providing infrastructure for 26 hectares of brown. Over the next 10 to 15 years, this project is expected to deliver 2,000 homes, and create up to 5,000 jobs.