Work on foundations of Sunderland’s new Wear Bridge takes shape

General construction operative Patrick Kelleher uses a concrete-cutting saw to cut one of the piles down to size
General construction operative Patrick Kelleher uses a concrete-cutting saw to cut one of the piles down to size
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Sparks are flying this week as the foundations for the approach road to Sunderland’s new Wear Bridge take shape.

More than 800 concrete pillars which will form an essential part of the foundations to the new road structure on the south side of the River Wear, have now been installed and cut to the correct size.

During the next few weeks contractor FVB JV will be capping each pile with concrete.

In early 2016, the construction team will then start infilling the area between the piles with crushed concrete and aggregate to create the embankment that will ultimately support the main southern approach road.

Stephen McCaffrey, project director with FVB JV, the partnership set up by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project, said once the embankment was complete by early next summer, it will be used as the launch platform to assemble the bridge deck on.

“Much of our activity so far has been preparation works to enable us to start construction of the approach roads and bridge itself,” said Stephen.

“However, from the new year, people will see a marked increase in construction activities as the foundations are established on both sides of the riverbank and the central cofferdam is developed in the river itself, where we will be able to work from to put the central pylon foundation in place.”

When it opens in 2018, the bridge will link Wessington Way in Castletown with European Way in Pallion and see an investment of more than £117million into the city’s infrastructure.