A DUTCH barge loaded with 750 tonnes of construction materials for the Brighton i360 project is delivering its cargo, following a brief stop at Shoreham Harbour.
Run aground by the West Pier, the barge is carrying first six of the 17 prefabricated steel ‘cans’ that will make up the i360 tower and a jacking frame that will, over the summer, lift it up onto the skyline.
David Marks, chairman of Brighton i360 Ltd, said: “Today marks a major milestone in the construction project, with the completion of the foundations and the start of an exciting new phase, when the i360 starts to come out of the ground and reaches for the sky.”
Julia Barfield, co-managing director of Marks Barfield Architects, said: “Ten years ago, we set out on a journey to bring the i360 to Brighton. After all the preparation and planning, it is fantastic to see it all coming together.”
A second barge will deliver the remaining 11 cans later this month. Seven thousand tonnes of gravel, shingle and chalk have been moved to create a platform for the delivery, while a 4,000 tonne concrete foundation has been built under the ground to balance out the towering feat of engineering.
A 100-metre high crane will unload the 17 specially fitted out steel cans, each measuring between six and 12 metres, directly onto the beach and, using a giant jacking tower, will be joined together to build the shaft which will carry a futuristic viewing pod allowing 200 visitors at a time to enjoy a new perspective of Brighton.
Eleanor Harris, chief executive of Brighton i360 Ltd, said: “We have been preparing the ground for this arrival since July and now the project will be going up, up, up.”
The 162-metre high project will be completed this summer and then open in summer 2016. The visitor centre at its base will incorporate a 400 seat restaurant; a shop; children’s play zone; exhibition space; tea rooms; and conference and event facilities.
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