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Ellie Taylor & Anna Whitehouse 10pm - 1am
Poole's long-awaited second-harbour crossing has officially opened to traffic as of Wednesday 4 April 2012.
Work to resurface the lifting leaves was successfully completed last week after some tarmac cracked during tests back in March 2012. On Tuesday 3 April, Borough of Poole accepted the bridge from contractors Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd.
Cllr Elaine Atkinson, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said:
"This really is a fantastic day for Poole. The Twin Sails Bridge provides a much-needed second harbour crossing and unlocks large regeneration sites for the town.
"Projects of this nature will inevitably experience minor issues and we are pleased that we have been able to complete the construction of the Twin Sails Bridge within two years, which was always our target."
The Twin Sails Bridge will operate alongside the existing Poole lifting bridge. The bridges will be operated in a way that allows traffic to flow across the Backwater Channel between the town centre and Hamworthy. Road signs will direct road users to whichever of the two bridges is open at the time.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, said:
"The new road networks that have been introduced as part of the Twin Sails project have been operating successfully for a number of months and the opening of the Twin Sails Bridge will complete these improvements. In addition to improving traffic flows, the scheme also offers benefits for pedestrians and cyclists."
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.