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Fan-tastic idea

A UNIQUE pedestrian 'fan bridge' to be built in Germany later this year will not suffer from the lateral sway problems that dogged London's Millennium Bridge, its British structural engineer pledged this week.

Tenders to build the 150m long, eight span Mechtenberg Bridge outside Gelsenkirchen have just been returned.

Happold Ingenieurburo director Paul Rogers said that all the tenders had come in close to the £1.56M budget price, despite the innovative multiple fan design by pioneering architect Frei Otto He added: 'The bridge is made up of just three components: 70mm diameter solid steel rods up to 22m long, special die cast clamps and steel deck units.

It may look spidery, but it's heavier than it looks and the maximum span is only 30m.

'With crossbracing at the supports, the only potential dynamic problem is at the top of the main fans over the longest span - which will have no effect on pedestrians.'

The successful contractor is due on site in March, with completion scheduled for the end of the year.

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