Workers laboured into the early hours to make sure York awoke to see its Millennium Bridge proudly in position.

The river reopened after a 30-hour closure at 6am, with the new 310-ton bridge secured three hours earlier.

After a meticulous operation the bridge was finally lowered into place at first on the south bank by jacks and then, at around 2.30am, by cranes on the north bank.

Despite the rain and the biting wind, workers had remained optimistic throughout the night that the cutting edge structure would be in place by the deadline.

It is a moment of great achievement for everyone connected with the project since its beginning: for the community who first conceived of a Millennium Bridge; for the trust that came together to bring it to reality; for the donors who supported it; and for those who designed, made and put it all together.

The fact that such a complex project has been completed within only three years is a further testimony to the skills and effort of all those involved.

In recognition of this accomplishment, The York Millennium Bridge Trust presents this special supplement to commemorate the launch of one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever to be undertaken in York - and one that will mark this, the Millennium Year, and be an asset to the city for future generations.

Updated: 09:13 Friday, January 26, 2001