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WISHING ON THE WIND

Mowlem project manager Jon Neale was this week crossing his fingers that wind levels stay low for a few more days. This would be long enough to grout in bearings and bolt the end pieces for the steel sail section for the 165m high Portsmouth Spinnaker tower. Heavy rain and strong winds have already delayed the lifting operation for two months. But last week a two day strand jacking operation by Fagioli/PSC lifted the first 560t section of the curved steel 'sail' which will sit on a special curved bearing one third of the way up the tower.The multi jack operation also involved some complex mid-air turning of the 56m long steel element, which has been assembled from 12 basic sections at ground level by fabricator Butterley (NCE 4 December 2003). Another eight steel sections must now be added to the top, to bring the 'sail' to its full height. Tower engineering consultant Scott Wilson said the twin leg reinforced concrete tower which supports the steel structure incorporates a vertical curve, allowing it to straighten as it is loaded up.

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