It figures that the bridge will be a huge success

It cost £14.6 million, is 36 meters high and has 4.5 kilometres of electric cable - enough to go around Derry’s city walls three times.

The bald statistics and figures that went into constructing the city’s new Peace Bridge make for fascinating reading.

From east bank to west, it runs a total of 312 metres, the length of more than two and a half football pitches.

Each of the two towers or spikes are nearly 40 metres long and each weighs just over 60 tonnes.

The steel walkway was imported from Wales and was the largest transportation operation ever undertaken by Stena Line.

After landing at Lishally it was pieced together and then carried up the River Foyle by the Forth Atlas barge where they were lifted into place by a 500 tonne crane.

Now completed the bridge itself weighs a total of 1,000 tonnes and the heaviest section weights 120 tonnes.

A total of 1,000 tonnes of steel was used in the construction of the bridge, the equivalent of 143 double decker buses.

The structure itself is a curved self-anchored suspension bridge with two inclined pylons and a reverse curved deck.

It is anchored by 30 steel piles, each 24 metres long and driven into the riverbed 10 metres to 11 metres deep.

The materials used in construction were mainly steel, stainless steel and reinforced concrete.

Reinforced earth soil was used on the Ebrington Embankment, an environmentally-friendly landscaping scheme which allows the structure to be integrated into the natural environment.

Almost 50 people were employed to work on the bridge at the height of construction.

And a total of 387 people have worked on the project since it began back at the start of last year.

Initial construction began in January 2010 when steel piles were driven into the river bed.

That piling work was completed in March and the following month work began on the pre-cast shell.

The shell was positioned on top of the piles in May and then in June concreting for the steel supports began.

The pier supports were completed in July and then in August the steel walkway arrived from Wales.

The bridge really began to take shape in September when the steel walkway was transported up the River Foyle. Craning them into place took until December.

The process of flooring and fitting lighting and handrails to the bridge took from January to May this year when the final temporary supports were removed.

The inspiration for the bridge is Maurice Harron’s sculpture ‘The Hands Across the Divide’, where the hands do not touch. The masts on the Peace Bridge symbolically overlap in what the developers call a ‘structural handshake’.

The bridge was constructed to be entirely symmetrical so that it does not favour one side of the river over the other.

The Peace Bridge may have only opened yesterday but already it has won the considerate Constructors Bronze Award for Performance Beyond Compliance.