Sunderland's New Wear Crossing set for transformation as cable stays are installed

The cable stay installation on the New Wear Crossing is underway.
The cable stay installation on the New Wear Crossing is underway.
0
Have your say

Sunderland's New Wear Crossing is set to be transformed as 'one of the final pieces of the jigsaw' is added to the structure.

Over the coming weeks, the 28 cable stays on the bridge will be fully installed, making it appear close to completion

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Initial work to install the first 12 cable stays, which connect the bridge deck to the pylon and have a white protective sheath, has already been carried out.

The rest of the cables will be installed and tensioned to around 50% of their working loadby structural engineering company VSL International over the next six weeks.

Although the bridge will look almost completed when the work is done, the project team will then need to carry out the road finishing works on the deck, and begin the process of installing the lighting system on both the pylon and the bridge deck.

The cable stays can not be tensioned to 100% until most of the works are complete, and then the blue temporary steel towers in the river, which currently support the deck, can be removed.

The strands are anchored into the bridge deck.

The strands are anchored into the bridge deck.

Coun Paul Watson, the leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The installation of the cable stays is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw as we near completion of Sunderland’s new bridge.

"Bit by bit, we can really start to see just how impressive the new bridge is going to look.

“Watching the bridge come to life during the past two years, and witnessing some of the engineering feats involved, has been tremendous.

"The teams working on the project are doing a terrific job.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

“Some of the facts and figures around the cable installation process, including the strength and capacity of the materials used, are quite incredible.”

The cable stays will be anchored into the pylon and into the outer sides of the bridge deck.

Each cable will be made up of between 44 and 77 individual strands, varying in length from 52m to 165m, depending on its position on the deck.

Each strand is made up of several individual wires, which combine to form a diameter equal to that of a penny and which can support up to 28 tonnes, although they will only be tensioned to support seven tonnes on the New Wear Crossing.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

The cables enable the bridge deck to adjust to its optimum shape to accommodate the loads from the traffic and the bridge itself.

The cables transfer the bridge loads up to the pylon before they pass down into the foundations in the centre of the river.

Stephen McCaffrey, project director for FVB joint venture, created by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s easy to look at the outer sheath for the cables and not realise the strength and complexity of the technology that sits within them.

“Fixing these cables is a hugely specialised job and it will be our core focus for the work on the bridge itself for the coming weeks.”

The installation of the cable stays is one of the final major milestones of the project, which got underway in May 2015.

The bridge is on track to be complete in the spring of next year.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

It will cross the River Wear between Castletown and Pallion and will improve transport links around the city, open up land for regeneration along the south side of the river, and help to create jobs.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

The strands are threaded through the sheath and fixed into anchors in the pylon and the bridge deck.

The strands are threaded through the sheath and fixed into anchors in the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.