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Britons abroad

UK construction's involvement in Tagus has been mainly on the impressive central viaduct section built by Kvrner Construction. The majority of the elements were precast post-tensioned concrete units which were prefabricated in a yard constructed by Kvrner 22km downstream.

The 2,000t units were transported by heavy lifting barge and erected on bearings by the massive floating crane Rambiz.

'It was a staggering operation to erect the viaduct,' says Kvrner Construction vice president Mike Napier. 'We had to manufacture the beams in eight pieces, stick them together and then prestress them. We sent Rambiz down river on the high tide and held it on station using satellite navigation.

'It was a high risk operation. If anything had happened to Rambiz we would have been in deep trouble. You can't just pop out and hire another crane like that one.

'We were praying for 18 months, but everything went superbly.'

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