POOLE’S spectacular Twin Sails Bridge is finally living up to its name.

With its sails proudly soaring into the sky for the first time, the second harbour crossing can be seen in all its glory.

All five spans, consisting of 41 separate metal sections, have now been fitted across the Back Water Channel and the bridge is whole.

Cllr Elaine Atkinson, leader of Borough of Poole, said: “This is a really exciting day in the construction of the Twin Sails Bridge, as the final pieces of steel are put into place and the leaves are lifted.

“The bridge looks fantastic and is still on target to be completed on time and within budget, ready for the residents of Poole to enjoy.”

Construction is not complete, there is no road across the decks and one of the masts has yet to be fitted to its sail, but testing the mechanism has now begun.

The overall length of the structure, which spans the channel between the former power station site at Hamworthy and the town centre, is around 140 metres. There is a total of 800 tonnes of steel in the superstructure and the triangular lifting leaves weigh 65 tonnes each.

When open, the tip of the mast will be 55m above the deck and the opening leaf will be 35m above the road.

Two hydraulic rams operate the leaves, which will take two minutes to open, and there are 5,000 planned lifts a year.

After 20 months of work, the new bridge is expected to be in operation early next year, with an official opening planned for next March.