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300m Bridge Deck In Place Across River Wear

29th March 2017

The bridge deck of Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing has now been successfully launched across the River Wear.

The bridge deck of Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing has been successfully launched across the River Wear.


The operation to manoeuvre the 300m deck from the south side to the north side of the River Wear was completed on Tuesday evening.


It took a total of 20 hours to slide the 4,750-tonne concrete and steel structure into its final position over the River Wear between Pallion to the south and Castletown to the north.


Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for Farrans Victor Buyck Joint Venture team, said: “the bridge deck launch went very well.


“It was a substantial structure to move across the river, so it was a very slow and steady operation. The positioning of the deck throughout was crucial as it had to be navigated through the middle of the pylon and then onto each of the temporary supports built in the river to support it.


“We had a team of people guiding it across and scrutinising its progress, as it was planned to the millimetre, but it went as expected, so we are very happy”.


The project to build the New Wear Crossing got underway in May 2015. Farrans joined Victor Buyck Steel Construction in order to form a Joint Venture partnership to deliver the bridge on behalf of Sunderland City Council.


It is phase two of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, which is a five-phase plan to improve links between the A19 and Sunderland City Centre and the Port of Sunderland.


Since construction got underway, much of the work has centred on building the cofferdam and pylon foundations within the riverbed, constructing the approach roads on the north and south sides of the River Wear, and assembling the bridge deck.


Roadworks have also been carried out in Pallion and Castletown to connect into the existing road network ahead of the bridge opening in the spring of 2018.


In recent months, work has stepped up on the north side, where the northern approach road and abutment are being constructed and the new alignment of Hylton Park Road is being developed.


Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, described the new bridge as a “catalyst for change” in the city.


“Crucially, it will enable a huge area of land along the south side of the river to be regenerated and developed for a range of uses, including housing, leisure, retail, business and education,” Cllr Watson said.


“It will help attract investment into the city, create jobs and breathe new life into this old industrial area of the riverbank that has become derelict over time. The potential is immense.”