What is this platform doing floating on the River Wear under Sunderland's Northern Spire bridge?

Checks are under way on the newest bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland as its first birthday of carrying traffic approaches.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 11:30 am

The Northern Spire opened to traffic last August at a cost of £177.6 million, with construction taking more than two years.

Now a platform is being prepared to help a team carry out an inspection of the under side of the structure on the south side of the river.

Floating crane platform will start to inspect the the Northern Spire Bridge later this month.

Work has already been completed on the north side, with the inspection on the Pallion stretch to start later this month and is expected to take until October to complete.

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Contractor Farrans Victor Buyck will use the platform and the chery picker on board to look at the state of the paint on the deck steelwork and the concrete bridge deck.

Sunderland City Council has said the work was “always planned” to take place, rather than it being prompted by any issues.

A spokesman said: “The cradle is for inspections and carrying out any work necessary on the underside of the Northern Spire.

The platform has been under construction ahead of the checks to the under side of the bridge.

“This is to ensure that everything is in accordance with the original contract specifications.”

The two-span cable-stayed bridge is 105 metres tall and crosses from Castletown to Pallion.

It is part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, a continous dual carriagway which will take traffic between the A19 and the Port of Sunderland.