Sunderland’s £100million-plus bridge will transform the fortunes of the Port of Sunderland, says the man in charge.
Council bosses confirmed last week that a deal to build the new Wear Crossing has been reached and work was due to star within weeks.
Port director Matthew Hunt said: “The news that the third Wear Crossing is now set to go ahead is fantastic for the port, as well as the wider city.
“It will provide us with a direct link from the heart of the port to the A1 and A19, meaning the freight we handle can be transported quickly in and out of the port.
“This improved efficiency will only help spur on the growth we have seen at the port – with record tonnage figures last year and our rail links re-instated earlier this year, the Wear Crossing is another boost during what has been a prosperous few years for us.
“The new bridge is going to provide a vital means of access to development sites along the river corridor, opening up space for the city centre to expand and allow us here at the port to grow even further.
“We’re already working hard to ensure we’re ready for bigger investors and we’re excited to see new offshore manufacturers make Sunderland their home, as well as many more advanced manufacturing businesses with the development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.
“With the demand for their goods will come the demand for logistics and export, and the team here at the port is raring to go. All in all, it is a great time for Sunderland.”
Paul Callaghan is chairman of the Sunderland Economic Leadership Board, which has worked with the Sunderland Business Group to develop the 3, 6, 9 Vision, to shape the cultural and economic development of Wearside in the coming years.
“It’s hugely positive news that work is underway on the new Wear bridge, and we very much look forward to 2018, when it is expected it will open for use,” he said.
“The Sunderland skyline really is transforming in front of our eyes.
“There is some £750million of investment expected to be ploughed into the city between now and 2024, both the city council and private investors, so this really is an exciting time.
“The Wear crossing will add a new dimension to Sunderland, and is another step towards the rejuvenated Sunderland we described in our 3.6.9 timeline, which tracks the changes we will see between now and 2024.”