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Building Opinions: Robert Nemeth on the i360 project
Love it or hate it, the i360 project promises to be one of the biggest engineering spectacles that we have seen in Brighton and Hove for years, and the build promises to be fascinating throughout.
I will be covering the project as it progresses, and am particularly looking forward to seeing how Brighton’s main sewer (perhaps the greatest of all local engineering feats) is diverted in January. This week’s news is the release of photographs of the principal components of the tower – 33 giant flanges and 17 steel cans.
Euskal Forging, based between Bilbao and Pamplona in north-east Spain, has forged the 33 giant flanges that will be used as connecting pieces for each of the 17 steel cans that will become the tower itself. The flanges are machined to make a flat surface and then bolted inside each end of the steel cans. Accordingly, there are two flanges per can (except on the uppermost can where there is one). Each flange is forged from a single ingot of steel.
The flanges were approved in early December by steel specialists Hollandia and are now to be transported to Sif Group in Roermond in the south-eastern Netherlands, where the steel cans will be bolted to them. The steel cans will be finished inside and out at Hollandia’s factory in Rotterdam, where they will also be sprayed with molten zinc and painted before being delivered to the UK by boat in 2015.
As it goes, I have supported the i360 project since discussions began in 2006. If the figures are correct, it will bring tourism and regeneration to a whole part of town that has been forgotten for years – and joy to hundreds of thousands of visitors who will get to see Brighton, Hove and its surroundings in a most exhilarating manner.
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