Engineers launch 4,750t Sunderland bridge deck

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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The bridge deck for the New Wear Crossing was launched across Sunderland’s river on Sunday.

Joint venture builders Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction will now slowly push the 300m deck across river over the next few days using hydraulic jacks.

Once in place, the deck will span from where it has been assembled on the south side of the river in Pallion to the north side in Castletown.

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB Joint Venture, said the project was progressing well and was on track to open on time next spring.

“At 300 metres long and weighing 4,750 tonnes, the deck is a substantial structure so moving it out across the river will be a very slow and steady operation.

“It has been in the planning for a long time, and has been calculated to the nearest millimetre, so we will be monitoring it throughout to ensure it progresses in the way we expect.

New_Wear_Crossing_preparing_for_phase_2_Bridge_Deck_launch

New Wear Crossing preparation for phase 2 bridge deck launch

“While people may not actually be able to see the deck itself moving, as it does so very slowly, over time they will see progress. We don’t expect it to be finished until Tuesday or Wednesday, at the earliest, but once complete, I’m sure people will feel that the bridge is visibly taking shape.”

During the summer months, the final 40m of bridge deck will be constructed on the north side of the river and the cable stays will be fitted to the pylon and then attached to the deck.

The cables will be gradually stressed to take the weight of the bridge deck before the temporary supports holding the deck are removed.

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “There are no doubts in my mind that this bridge will attract investment into Sunderland, help to create thousands of jobs, and improve travel time for motorists and those on public transport. It is going to be great news for the city.”

Since construction got underway on the New Wear Crossing in May 2015, much of the work has centred around building the cofferdam and pylon foundations within the riverbed, constructing the approach roads on the south side, and assembling the bridge deck.

Roadworks have also been carried out on both sides of the river to prepare the current road network for the opening of the bridge in the spring of 2018.

 

 

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