Work on Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing is progressing well with the launch of the bridge deck out across the River Wear.
The operation sees the deck being pulled between 10 and 15 metres per hour, resulting in hydraulic jacks being used to slowly manoeuvre the steel frame.
Leader of Sunderland City Council Cllr Paul Watson said: “Our new bridge is taking shape well now and it’s very exciting to see the construction team launching the bridge deck across the River Wear.
“The New Wear Crossing will help improve traffic flow across the city from the A19 through to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland and create huge opportunities for regeneration and investment along the river bank, so it’s great news for the north east that it’s progressing well.”
Stephen McCaffrey, project director of FVB joint venture, formed by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction added: “Pulling a 2,500 tonne section of bridge out over the middle of the river is not easy and takes a lot of engineering and preparation. We have a variety of UK and international experts working on the project who are bringing together their skills to make sure everything goes ahead as planned.”
Project director for Victor Buyck Steel Construction, Patrick Van Severen commented: “This kind of bridge deck launch operation is always very exciting for our team because it is one of the major landmarks in the construction process, where people can see the scale of the project.
“We’re on track to open the new bridge in spring 2018 and our focus over the next few months will be on constructing the second phase of the bridge deck and bringing the pylon to Sunderland and then raising it in the river, which will be a spectacular sight.”