Bridge suffers storm setback

Crucial parts of the new bridge under construction between the Peloponnese and the western mainland at Rio have been lost at sea en route to the work site, wiping out the five-week lead contractors had in the initial project schedule, a report said yesterday. Six massive steel girders, weighing a total of 155 tons, went overboard off a freighter carrying bridge parts from Britain to Greece during an October storm in the Bay of Biscay, according to the February issue of Construction Plus magazine. It was the second-to-last batch of a total 20,000-ton consignment. Under pressure for early delivery of the work in September – which would allow a runner to carry the Olympic Flame over the bridge before the August Games – constructors had managed to edge five weeks ahead of schedule. But this edge has now been lost. Replacement girders were provided by UK Cleveland Steel in under 10 weeks, the company said. The 2.25km (1.4-mile) cable-stayed Rio-to-Antirio bridge will be the longest of its kind in the world.