Work moves on with new Wear Crossing

Work at the Wear Crossing.
Work at the Wear Crossing.
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Part of Sunderland's river landscape is changing as work continues on the city's new bridge, set to open in 2018.

The south bank of the river at Pallion is a hive of activity, with demolition work now almost complete on the former Groves Cranes site.

This will pave the way for more than 800 concrete piles that will support the approach to the bridge.

Construction is also happening elsewhere on site, with teams busy building up the earthworks and foundations for the new Western Link approach road, which will connect the new bridge to European Way.

Work started on the new bridge this summer, and since it began more than 800 vertical concrete piles have been installed into the ground to support the new road structure which will lead to the Wear Crossing. There are 180 people working on the project.

More than 30,000 tonnes of earth and other materials have been removed from the site, 170,000 square feet of fire damaged and disused buildings have been removed and 36,000 tonnes of brick, stone and other materials have been crushed.

Coun Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The New Wear Crossing will open up huge new opportunities for regeneration, development and investment on the south side of the river.

"It’s great to see work progressing so well and these numbers show the scale of the preparation work that we need to do to link the new bridge to the new approach roads.”

The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.

It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in the city for more than 40 years, and forms part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor.

It will also link the Port of Sunderland and city centre to the A19 and A1, and it is hoped new jobs and investment will come to Sunderland and regenerate the city.

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB JV, said: “Our team is working closely with Sunderland City Council and Port of Sunderland to make sure this preparation work goes smoothly.

"Demolition and piling work always present unexpected challenges, but we’re very pleased with how things are progressing so far.”

David Abdy, Project Director of the New Wear Crossing project for Sunderland City Council, added: “The project has moved forward a long way since we started the dismantling work at the beginning of the summer, but there is plenty more work for us to do before the new bridge is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.

"The good news is that we are on track and moving forward well as we head towards the winter.”