SCHOOLCHILREN from Bury St Edmunds looked on in awe as engineers demonstrated their art by using a 300t crane to lift a 35m long bridge that will form a new cycleway into the town centre.
More than 120 children from local primary schools avidly watched the culmination last month of the bridge's epic voyage from Kent, with the final lift taking just 30 minutes in the early afternoon.
Engineers from bridge installation contractor, J Breheny, have involved local schools in the project, helping the children to find out in advance about machinery used for the lift and the engineering principles behind the project.
'This an impressive example of co-operation between civil engineering companies, but it was also brilliant to see how involved the local schoolchildren were, ' said ICE East Anglian association chairman Terry Oakes.
Borough engineer Stephen Day helped the children comprehend the sheer size of the operation by setting them competitions beforehand. On the day, they gave the collective thumbsup for the bridge to swing into place.
The prefabricated steel bridge was designed by Nusteel with civil engineering works for a cycle path and bridge installation carried out by J Breheny.
The £120,000 project has been funded by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
The schoolchildren will be back on site early next year for an official opening by local MP David Roughly. They will be the first to ride their bikes over the bridge and will be awarded prizes for the best sketches of the bridge lift.