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Contractor Multiplex lifted two sliding roof panels on the south side of Wembley stadium into position last month. The remaining 18 roof panels were being welded on-site across the entire pitch area so they can be lifted into place this month. Once these are in position the pitch area will be clear, ready for work to create the playing surface. 'We want the pitch cleared by so we can move out the mobile cranes and start pitch excavation, ' said Wembley National Stadium development and construction director Mike Richardson. The panels are lifted using tower cranes and the only thing which could hamper efforts would be high winds, he added. Roof panels were fabricated by steel subcontractor Hollandia and are made up of a pair of steel roof trusses connected by a single steel truss. Aluminium sheeting will be rolled onto the roof when all 20 sections have been installed. Rack and pinion sliding roof machinery will be fitted in December. The signature arch was still temporarily restrained by five cables as NCEI went to press. The 1,750t structure will be transferred to permanent stays connecting it to the north stand roof.

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