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Raising of Wembley arch to go live on the web

NEWS

HALF A MILLION people are expected to log on to the Wembley stadium website next year to witness a webcast showing the raising of the of the massive 7m diameter, 133m high arch which will support its roof.

The Wembley operation is comparable with the problematic lifting of the London Eye in 1999, although the 133m high Wembley arch could be even more nerve wracking for the engineers involved.

As the world looks on, the arch must be lifted from a flat position through the vertical to the precise angle to maximise efficiency in the completed structure.

'This will be an international news event and a great thrill for all involved, ' said structural engineer Connell Mott MacDonald director James Bennett.

Constructed of a 7m diameter steel truss - big enough for a Channel Tunnel train to run through - the 315m long arch is believed to be the longest single span roof structure in the world.

Wembley manager, FA subsidiary Wembley National Stadium, is currently negotiating the contract for the website licence which will need upgraded capacity for the event.

Although the existing website can handle around 10,000 visitors at a time, it is expected the number could reach half a million when the arch is raised.

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