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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Venice bridge operation under way
Hundreds of people watched parts of the bridge being moved down the canal

Work is beginning to fix the first bridge to be added to Venice's Grand Canal in decades into place.

The canal's fourth bridge will be jacked up and lowered into place between two steel side buttresses.

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the structure which has attracted controversy over how it will affect the Italian city's landscape.

Parts of the 55-metre bridge were transported down the canal, past the Rialto Bridge, earlier this week.

This project will link the city's train station with the Piazzale Roma, a car and bus terminal on the other side of the canal.

Officials believe the bridge is necessary because of the increasing number of activities which will be held in Roma Square.

The 10m euros project ($13.6m, 6.4m), which is expected to be finished by the end of the year, will include the introduction of stone paving and glass railings for the bridge.

Tests on the bridge's foundation structures have also been completed.

Mr Calatrava, who designed the Athens Olympics sport complex and the Palace of the Arts in Valencia, won the bid to build the bridge in 1999.




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The new bridge is moved into place



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