Final piece of the arch over Moses Mabhida Stadium fitted

2009-01-13 00:00

The final piece of the Durban Moses Mabhida Stadium’s spectacular arch was lifted into place amid great fanfare yesterday.

A large crowd watched as steel chains hoisted the last piece of the 350-metre long arch into place late yesterday afternoon.

Work on the insertion of the final piece began just after 6 am with the final piece scheduled to be hoisted at 10 am. However, engineers only started work on the arch in the afternoon as curious onlookers waited patiently at the visitors’ centre.

Engineers had to monitor wind speeds before proceeding with the fitting of the last piece.

It took 30 minutes for the arch piece to be hoisted to the top of the arch. When the piece was finally inserted, the crowd, including Mayor Obed Mlaba, city manager Mike Sutcliffe and head of strategic projects Julie-May Ellingson, cheered as the completion of the arch marked a major milestone for the stadium’s construction team.

“This is an event which we’ve eagerly looked forward to for many months. The completion of the arch is a major milestone in the city’s preparations for 2010 and exciting proof that we’re well on track,” said Ellingson.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is at the heart of the King’s Park Sports precinct, bordered by the Umngeni River, a major rail line, the beachfront and K.E. Masinga Road (formerly Old Fort Road).

Construction of the stadium is but one aspect of a major eThekwini upgrade for 2010. Huge road and rail projects are currently underway to ensure the smooth movement of people around Durban when thousands of soccer fans descend on the city.

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