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News - 19 June 2015
Credit: Brighton i360 Kevin Meredith

Brighton i360 is out of the ground

The Brighton i360 tower came 'out of the ground' this week as the first three cans of 17 were successfully lifted into place, the chassis for the glass pod was installed and the fourth, being added later today, bringing the tower to just over 28 metres high already.

Said Eleanor Harris, chief executive of Brighton i360, "It is exciting to see the i360 taking shape so quickly. All the planning has paid off and the team are making great progress and we are already ahead of schedule and on track to complete the tower by September."

Last week saw the arrival of the first six giant steel cans, which will eventually form the i360’s 162-metre tower, and the three sections of the jacking frame, which will make the construction possible. They arrived by barge last Thursday and Friday before being lifted onto the site earlier this week.

The first can, weighing in at around 80 tonnes, was lifted over the public footpath which dissects the construction site (and was temporarily closed) at around 9.30am on Monday.

The team of expert engineers gently lowered the can into place and fixed it to the existing floor fittings in the attraction’s concrete foundations. The anchor bolt frame, which is cased in 4,500 tonnes of concrete, is fixed to the first can by 72 holding down bolts. Once finished, the tower will be held together by a total of 1,336 bolts of varying sizes.

The second can was then manoeuvred into place and fixed to the top of the first one, ahead of schedule, before the pod chassis was lifted onto site and lowered over both fixed cans.

The distinctive red pod chassis is what the glass viewing pod will be fitted to once the tower is finished. When completed, the viewing pod will be around 18 metres in diameter and be able to carry up to 200 people. It will weigh 93 tonnes, including the 20 tonne chassis already in place, and be able to carry a passenger load of up to 15 tonnes.

Work is currently running ahead of schedule and timings are subject to change, but the next pair of cans are due to be fitted today and the second piece of jacking frame is then due to lifted and fitted into place on Friday.

The next (and final) barge – carrying the remaining steel cans – is due to arrive in the sea directly alongside the i360 site in the early hours of next Tuesday June 23, with an estimated arrival time of around 2.30-3am to coincide with high tide. Said Eleanor Harris, "Next week's beach landings‎ should be even more spectacular than the first one with 11 steel cans being unloaded on Brighton beach on Tuesday 23 June and Wednesday ‎24 June. The best time to view will be in the morning and lunchtime, or on our web cam‎."

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