The first half of 4,070 tonnes of concrete is being poured at the Brighton i360 [May 30] to create the foundation for the 162 metre high viewing attraction being built on Brighton Beach, from the creators of the London Eye.
A steady flow of trucks has been arriving every five minutes at the i360 site since the early hours of the morning bringing 2,640 tonnes of concrete and pouring it into a huge reinforced hole with a fenced space for the shaft of the Brighton i360 in the centre.
There will be as many as 200 lorry visits to the i360 site today – coming from plants in Shoreham, Burgess Hill and Chichester. A weekend date was picked for the pour, as so much concrete is needed, the i360 team had to pick a day when they could have sole use of these three plants, as most other building sites are closed at weekends.
Each lorry is emptied in a just a few minutes and the concrete takes around two hours to set. As each lorry arrives the concrete goes into a pump tray. It is then hosed in by one of three pumps.
The concrete will form the foundations of the tower. There will eventually be four pours in total. The second major concrete pour will happen on June 10, once the first batch has had time to cool, and then smaller ones on June 11 and 12. It is done in stages to control the temperature of the concrete during the curing stage.
Said Eleanor Harris, CEO of Brighton i360 Ltd, “This is the exciting moment we have all been waiting for – once the foundation is in place, we can start building the world’s first vertical cable car! The tower will start going up on 15th June.”
“Contractors from Hollandia in the Netherlands and local firm Mackley are supervising the project. There are 50-60 construction workers on site and ten marshalls to make sure everything runs safely and according to plan. All is going well so far.
“The team has worked closely with Brighton & Hove Council to make sure traffic is not affected by the activity today. All the trucks are being managed from a holding site at Shoreham Port and truck departures are being carefully staggered to make sure they do not have to queue up on the seafront, but instead have a steady arrival throughout the day. If you visit the site today, you will see the trucks arriving at the Peace Statue and then making their way along the i360’s “construction road” on the beach.
“The Brighton i360 community team are on site all day sharing information with the public and hosting a visit from children’s TV favourite Bob the Builder. There is also a fun treasure hunt for kids – you can pick up a form at their stand near the newly opened West Pier arches shops next to Alfresco.”
All this is in preparation for the arrival of the steel ‘cans’ that will make up the viewing tower, which will arrive in two barge shipments from the Netherlands directly on to the beach beside the site by the West Pier, weather depending, with the first barge arriving on June 11. It will take two to three days to unload each barge delivery and during this time the team will need to fence off and patrol a larger section of the beach and water to ensure they comply with health and safety regulations.
The tower will be completed this summer and then open in summer 2016, when the pod has been built and added to the tower and the visitor centre at its base is completed, to incorporate a 400 seat restaurant; a shop; children’s play zone; exhibition space; tea rooms; and conference and event facilities.
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