Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:57 UK

Bamboo bridge work starts on Tyne

Bamboo tower
Seven bridges currently span the Tyne

Riggers have begun constructing a 100m (328ft) long bamboo bridge over the River Tyne.

The temporary sculpture, which is not to be crossed by the public, is being built in between the Tyne and Millennium bridges.

It is scheduled to be completed on 18 July and will stand for three days during the SummerTyne music and arts festival, before being dismantled.

Australian firm Bambuco is using up to 800 bamboo poles in the construction.

The bridge, the eighth to span the river, will boast two 25m (82ft) high towers at either end. Work to build the first tower began outside Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday.

Stella Hall, creative Director of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: "People should prepare to be awestruck by the sight of an eighth bridge slowly taking shape on the quaysides.

"It will put the international spotlight on our breathtaking riverscape."

Bambuco, which has previously built large-scale bamboo structures in London, Manchester, Berlin, Moscow, Melbourne and Singapore, is using 20 tonnes of sustainable bamboo imported from China.

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