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COASTING ALONG

COASTING ALONG: Downdraft from rotor blades, and the need to use an unusually long strop line to clear tall trees beneath the helicopter, complicated last week's operation to position sections of a footbridge over the remote River Irthing at Willowford, Cumbria. Contractor for the pounds80,000 footbridge, Laing Construction, and steelwork fabricator Hartlepool Erections Group, called in the RAF Chinook helicopter after it was feared land-based plant would damage the countryside. The tri-services operation was controlled on the ground by the Royal Engineers.

One man was knocked off a tower by a swinging beam but his safety harness prevented injury.

The bridge is part of the Countryside Commission's 130km coast to coast path alongside Hadrian's Wall and should be open by Christmas.

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