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Workers at Heathrow Airport have connected the second section of Terminal 5A's roof to abutment steelwork after the 2,500t three bay central element was lifted into position.

The roof structure is being lifted three bays at a time using 16 lifting strand jacks. Workers are connecting the four 117m span steel box girder arches to the abutment steelwork with around 1,000 high strength friction grip bolts in readiness for final load transfer next week.

'This was a near perfect operation, ' said Bill Frankland, roof sub-project leader for client BAA. 'The accuracy of alignment of the sections was amazing, and we had learned on the first section the importance of a liberal coat of grease on all locating pins.' Erection began last Wednesday with the tensioning of the cable ties that convert the central roof girders into bowstring arches (NCE Terminal 5 supplement, February). The near 30m lift began soon after.

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