THE elegant arch of York's new Millennium Bridge rises above the banks of the River Ouse.

The structure, inspired by the simple design of a bicycle wheel, is now almost ready to be swung out over the water from its resting place near Rowntree Park, and is expected to be put in place next week - although this is dependent on river levels and the weather.

The amazingly thin, 19mm stainless steel support cables currently hang loose like pieces of string, but they will soon be tightened to carry the weight of the bridge deck.

That in turn will carry countless pedestrians and cyclists over the river for years to come.

The bridge's classic lines have proved a major challenge for the best experts, as they have battled to combine strength with the most slender sections possible.

Resident engineer Steve Rees said he has worked on 1,000- metre bridges in Hong Kong, but the 150-metre York span had proved even more taxing for him.