Runner the first to hit the tarmac of new Northern Spire bridge in Sunderland

A Wearside man whose company overlooks the majestic new Northern Spire bridge has spoken of his pride at being the first person to run across the new £117million structure.

Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 2:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 2:51 pm
Michael Duell, who is believed to have been the first person to run across the new Northern Spire bridge in Sunderland.

Totum Sport employee Michael Duell, of Silksworth, turned up ahead of today’s bridge opening to pedestrians ahead of tomorrow’s full bridge opening.

Michael, 25, of Silksworth, has hailed the bridge as a “great North East landmark” and said he thinks its opening will help bring new investment and jobs to the city.

Northern Spire in Sunderland opens to pedestrians.

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“Our office is quite close to the bridge with it being at the BIC (Business Innovation Centre) and we went along about 11.40am to go on it,” said marketing executive Michael.

“I ended up having a run across and then back and it was brilliant.

“I managed to take some pictures as well.

“I’m doing the Great North Run for the fourth time this year and I usually run when I’m away from work but I might starting using the bridge route as part of my training.

“We’ve been in our office since October so we’ve seen a lot of the work in progress.

“You get fantastic views of the city and it’s already a great North East landmark.

“There was a great atmosphere and people of all ages had come along to take a look at things.”

Michael added that as well as providing an economic boost to Sunderland, he believes that the Northern Spire will become popular with runners and cyclists.

“In my opinion it will certainly bring a lot more business into the city,” he said.

“We’re quite excited to see what the future holds.

“It’s going to be something that will make Sunderland a lot more noticed.

“I often have to work at St James’ Park and you can see it from there and if you’re flying into Newcastle Airport.

“I can see it being used by a quite a lot of runners as the walkways on the Queen Alexandra Bridge are quite narrow whereas they are wider on Northern Spire.”