Of course, it was never going to be open for the Olympics, but nudge, wink, if it gets done in time….
Well, those hopes are dampened after work on erecting the cable for the Emirates Air-Line was postponed for the third weekend in a row. When it happens, it’ll be a dramatic sight, with a helicopter due to string the cable across the Thames*.
The work was originally due for 10/11 March, even though there was no south-side tower to string a cable to (the two north-side towers have been up for a few weeks). Then a second notice was issued for 16/17 March – but at the time the notice went out, the south-side tower was still a stump in the ground.
Sadly for Boris Johnson, that weekend’s cancellation pushed the work into the election campaign, which officially kicked off last Tuesday. So he now can’t use City Hall resources to, say, please TV cameras by riding in the chopper doing the work.
Things were looking more hopeful last week, as the tower raced up. The cable apparatus was installed on Thursday, and the picture above shows the scene that evening.
We apologise on the contractors behalf for yet further delay to this activity.
No further Notices to Mariners will now be issued on the intention to rig cables at the cable car location in Bugsbys Reach until the building of the South Tower has been completed.
A minimum of 5 days notice will then be given by Notices to Mariners to advise the weekend on which the cables will be rigged. We regret and also apologise for any inconvenience caused by these continued delays which are out with our control and the plethora of Notices in this respect, advising of works which fail to materialise.
Ouch. So, if the work’s to be done this weekend (31 March/ 1 April), a notice to mariners will have to appear today. Otherwise, we’re looking at Easter. But we’re now looking at the project being at least three weeks behind schedule, presumably almost certain to miss a three-week long Olympics when a link between the Dome and ExCeL would be useful.
That said, the gondalas were in place at “Emirates Greenwich Peninsula” on Friday night, still in their protective wrappings, and an ad for staff appeared in last week’s edition of Greenwich Council propaganda weekly Royal Greenwich Time (so much for criticising “Pyongyang-style freesheets“, eh?). The lighter evenings will also aid a project which has demanded work at weekends and late at night.
But these delays can’t be a good sign. If a notice to mariners doesn’t appear today, expect trouble.
Tuesday 12.40am update: This was the original plan as far as I know, but this now may be a chopper-free zone. Wait and see…