After a decade of work to get Poole’s Twin Sails Bridge off the ground, concerns have been raised that it could still be at risk.

The tender for the £18.5 million bridge is about to be let, but questions are being asked about why it has taken so long, along with anxieties about the upcoming election.

“It seems incredible to me that it’s over 10 years since we got the go-ahead and now we are just letting the contract,” said Cllr Brian Clements, who was leader of a Liberal Democrat council at the time.

“The sooner we get on and do it the better,” said Cllr Clements, who is urging the council to get the contract in place as quickly as possible.

“A change of government in 1997 cost us the previous bridge,” he said.

However Conservative council leader Cllr Brian Leverett has defended the scheme and said there have been “no delays at all”.

He said: “We couldn’t even look to go out to tender until January 2009, simply because we didn’t own the land or have a financial package to be put in place.”

Lengthy negotiations have taken place with JJ Gallagher, owners of the former power station site in Hamworthy, where the bridge will connect with a link road to Blandford Road.

The recession knocked the council’s plans to fund the infrastructure from developer contributions out of orbit and alternative money for the £40m scheme had to be found, which came from a Regional Infrastructure Fund loan.

In the meantime essential pieces of the jigsaw were completed, such as the Transport and Works Act Order which required a public inquiry.

“Given the work undertaken over the last 12 months and the fact that parts of the process are not entirely within the council’s ‘gift’, I think progress has been good,” said Cllr Leverett.

He said: “I agree that a change of government could cause problems.

“That’s why we are seeking to sign it off – we are pulling all the stops out.”

On Thursday a special meeting of Borough of Poole is due to be held to agree to let the contract, after the meeting on January 6 was cancelled due to the weather.