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PULLING POWER

The River Thames in central London was closed for two hours recently while temporary cables were installed between pylons on Sir Norman Foster's new Millennium Footbridge. Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine hauled a 32mm steel cable over temporary A-frames mounted on the bridge piers.

Designed as an alternative to floating all the structural parts out on to the Thames before positioning, the cable will be used to transport components and suspension cables from the bank via pulleys, with minimum disruption to the river traffic.

Construction of the permanent Ove Arup-designed deck will start next month. The structure is expected to be open to pedestrians by June.

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