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Last Updated:  Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Weather window for bridge build
Sail Bridge
The new Sail Bridge that spans the River Tawe
Engineers preparing to install Swansea's landmark new bridge across the Tawe hope to complete the task by the end of Thursday.

The 80m long bridge had been due to arrive on the Mersey Mammoth - a huge floating crane barge - early on Tuesday morning.

But strong winds and a rough sea meant the vessel's voyage from Newport was delayed but calmer weather has allowed the operation to resume.

The bridge builders hope to float the span into position during the afternoon and have it fixed in place by the evening.

The 110-tonne fixed span Southern Bridge is too big to be transported by road and can only be dropped off at high tide.

The Sail will be a new landmark for Swansea - a new icon for a new era
WDA executive director Mike King

It is one of two new constructions that will link SA1 Swansea Waterfront - the Welsh Development Agency's 200m new development surrounding the Prince of Wales Dock- with the city centre and maritime quarter.

When completed, the Sail Bridge will tower 300ft above the ground and be seen for miles around.

The 42-metre high central mast of the Sail Bridge which will support the span, was erected over the weekend.

Weighing 85 tonnes, it already provides a new skyline feature for the city.

Sweeping structure

The complex operation of manoeuvring the mast into position involved three cranes - one of which was brought in from Tunisia specifically for the job.

The 142-metre long sweeping bridge structure will have a curved deck, a massive inclined mast and radiating cables resembling a yacht's rigging.

On Sunday, Welsh Assembly Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies tightened the last bolt of the Sail Bridge, accompanied by Lawrence Bailey, leader of Swansea Council.

Eye catching

WDA executive director Mike King said: "The Sail will be a new landmark for Swansea - a new icon for a new era.

"It is a strong statement that suitably reflects the new confidence and new dynamism we are now witnessing in Swansea.

"We wanted to create a distinctive, eye catching feature for the city and the funding from the assembly has enabled us to do that," he added.

Both bridges have been fabricated by Rowecord Engineering Ltd at their workshops in Newport and Cardiff, with the design team comprising Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the Flint & Neill partnership.

200m docks development unveiled
13 Jun 02  |  Wales

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