Contractors Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd presented a specially-inscribed spade to the Mayor of Poole, Councillor Chris Bulteel, at a ‘turning of the sod’ ceremony held at the bridge construction site in Hamworthy on Monday 21 June 2010.
The ceremony marked the official launch of the 20-month construction phase of the £37 million regeneration project that will see Poole's much-needed second harbour crossing open in early 2012.
The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Chris Bulteel, said: "This momentous occasion marks the start of a hugely important phase in Poole’s history with the construction of our long-awaited second harbour crossing. We will watch its progress with eagerness and pride and look forward to the completion of the project in 2012."
Councillor Brian Leverett, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: "This iconic world-class bridge is a symbol of ambition for Poole. The Twin Sails Bridge project will open up great opportunities for the town in terms of employment and housing.
"We are delighted that the Department for Transport is fully committed to this project and has reconfirmed its funding of £14.141 million towards the building of the Twin Sails Bridge."
In April, Borough of Poole appointed Hochtief (UK), one of the leading international providers of construction-related services, to build the Twin Sails Bridge and the immediate approach roads in Poole and Hamworthy.
Work on the installation of new mooring piles in Backwater Channel is scheduled to start in July, with the construction of the first support pier expected to follow in August. Three more piers will be built in the channel through the autumn and winter months prior to the installation of the first bridge span next year.
John Jackson, Managing Director of Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd, said:"Hochtief are very pleased to be asked to construct the Twin Sails Bridge and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to deliver this iconic structure for the residents of Poole."
Gordon Clark, Chairman of Gifford, the engineering consultant for the Twin Sails Bridge project, said: "I would like to congratulate Borough of Poole for its tenacity and sheer determination to deliver this project. This ceremony marks the first steps of the final stage - actually constructing this bridge
"We particularly look forward to the day the bridge will become the landmark cornerstone of the regeneration of this area and of Poole as a whole, as well as providing important improvements to travel in the area. I really hope the people of Poole will take pride in the Twin Sails Bridge for many years to come."
Notes: The Twin Sails Bridge project is funded from a range of public sector sources, including a £14.1 million grant from the Department for Transport and £9.96 million investment from the South West RDA’s (Regional Development Agency) Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) repayable through future planning contributions.
Under an agreement signed in July 2009, landowners JJ Gallagher and Land Improvement Holdings will take responsibility for the construction of the new link road and footpaths connecting the Twin Sails Bridge to Blandford Road. As the Highways Authority, Borough of Poole will adopt the new link road and footpaths in advance of the opening of the Twin Sails Bridge.
Tenders for the construction of the Twin Sails Bridge were received at the end of October 2009. By 27 November 2009 the Council had evaluated the tender submissions and confirmed to the Department for Transport (DfT) that the scheme was affordable and within budget subject to the DfT confirming the grant. Confirmation of the DfT grant was announced in March 2010 and was reconfirmed in June 2010.
Costs for the £37 million Twin Sails Bridge project are broken down as:
£18.562 million Twin Sails Bridge construction target price
£3.347 million Link road and land acquisition
£1.730 million Road message system and marine public inquiry requirements
£1.646 million Site project management
£3.715 million Contingency
£8 million work undertaken to date to cover consultancy, advice and planning fees, environment impact assessment, Public Inquiry, land acquisition, permissions, design and procurement and support/project management fees and preliminary work.