The cable support for Wilkinson Eyre’s £50.5 million ‘Emirates Air Line’ cable car is now in place over the River Thames in London
The 1.1km long stretch of steel cable and three pylons will carry 34 passenger cabins at heights of up to 90 metres across the river.
Terminals for the new Emirates-sponsored crossing will be located at Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.
The 50mm-thick cable features 300 separate steel strands and was pulled into place and tensioned using a 12-tonne winch located on the Greenwich Peninsula.
The cable has now been clamped and secured at each station and tensioned for a minimum clearance of 55 metres above the Thames.
TfL Emirates Air Line operations manager Danny Price said: ‘Work on the Emirates Air Line is really gaining momentum now. This is a major milestone for the project and helps everyone to visualise the unique and exciting travel experience soon to link the Royal Victoria Docks and Greenwich Peninsula. It won’t be long before we see the rigorous testing and commissioning process starting with a cabin taking its first flight across the river.’
Matt Randall, project director for contractor Mace, added: ‘The pull of the cable across the Thames has been a highly complex and intricate part of the construction of this landmark project. We used boats to make the initial rope connection during the short night-time window when the tide was at its lowest, working with the Port of London Authority to keep the river way clear, and this was eventually replaced with the cable itself. Now the cable has been tensioned to the correct height, the next step will be to commence the testing of the whole system.’
Testing of the passenger cabins will commence soon. The service is due to open in time for the London 2012 Olympics this summer.
In pictures: 1.1km cable secured on Wilkinson Eyre’s Thames crossing