Bridge of highs! See how the New Wear Crossing is shaping up

An aerial view of the deck across the New Wear Crossing.
An aerial view of the deck across the New Wear Crossing.
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The decking for the New Wear Crossing is in place after a two-day operation by workers.

The launch of the 300m-long structure got underway on Sunday afternoon, as hydraulic jacks inched the 4,750-tonne deck from where it was assembled on the south side of the river across to the north side.

The bridge deck was moved across the New Wear Crossing in a 20-hour operation.

The bridge deck was moved across the New Wear Crossing in a 20-hour operation.

Now the decking is in position from the Pallion side of the £117.6million construction, another 40-metre section will be constructed to join south with north.

Girders and pre-cast concrete sections which make up the base of the bridge were constructed on site, with the blue noses positioned each side helping to guide its direction.

The creation of the bridge is part of the city’s Economic Masterplan, which aims to link the A19 with the Port of Sunderland.

Sunderland City Council leader, Coun Paul Watson, was one of those watching on as the decking edged closer into place.

The New Wear Crossing

The New Wear Crossing

“This is another really important day in the project as the bridge is now starting to look like a bridge,” said Coun Watson.

“It’s a phenomenal thing to see after some said it would never happen.

“From an aesthetic point of view, it shows we are heading towards our objective. “The team are doing a fantastic job in working to get the bridge finished on time and on budget.

“It’s becoming a real talking point for the city too, with people driving along the A19 nearby or Wessington Way able to see how things are progressing.”

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

Wearside worker Robert Webster spoke of his pride at seeing the bridge progressing. Robert, who hails from Ford Estate, near the south side of the development, said: “I’m from a big family and everywhere I go I get people asking about how things are going down here.

“I’ve enjoyed explaining it to people so they understand it more clearly.

“I think it will make a big difference to the city.

“I live somewhere that is right in the middle of the bridge over the A19 and the Queen Alexandra, so if you’re trying to get to the north side it can take quite a while especially when the traffic is busy.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

“The bridge should reduce a lot of the congestion and keep things flowing around the city.”

For regular updates on the New Wear Crossing, email newwearcrossing@sunderland.gov.uk and ask to be put on the distribution list.

More information is available via www.newwearcrossing.co.uk, or call 0800 223 0379.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. General operative Robert Webster.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. General operative Robert Webster.

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson and Project leader Stephen McCaffrey

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson and Project leader Stephen McCaffrey

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson,  Project leader Stephen McCaffrey and general operative Robert Webster

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson, Project leader Stephen McCaffrey and general operative Robert Webster

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson and Project leader Stephen McCaffrey

Final day of the New Wear Crossing deck launch. From left Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson and Project leader Stephen McCaffrey