THE FINAL steelwork section for the 'sail' on the Portsmouth Spinnaker tower was successful installed last week, putting the troubled project on course for final completion next year.
Concreting is also complete on the observation decks.
Difficulties with erecting the complex curved forms have led to a further two month extension in the project's finishing date to May 2005. It was originally due to open in July this year after a contract was let in October 2002.
'I think that both main contractor Mowlem and steel fabricator and erector Butterley, underestimated the difficulties of the installation, ' said John Greenhaigh, project manager for client Portsmouth City Council.
Greenhaigh added that the impact of the delays on the final project cost will be decided during ongoing negotiations that are proceeding 'professionally'.
The likely final cost will be around £26M, substantially more than the £21M target cost set three years ago.
The New Engineering Contract used for the job contains a 'painsharing' arrangement for cost overruns to be split between client and contractor but that will now only operate on costs above £23M.
Meanwhile concrete 'lesions' under the surface of the concrete continue to be investigated (NCE 2 September).
'We want to determine their size exactly, ' said Greenhaigh.
Repairs are complete in the stairwell but another 110 voids must fixed in the lift shaft.