Wear bridge deck slide goes without a hitch

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Contractors have completed the 300m long bridge deck slide for Sunderland’s new wear crossing in a seamless operation taking just 20 hours.

The temporary blue steel nose will be removed from the deck over the coming weeks and the remaining 40m section of bridge deck will be built in-situ on the north side during the summer months.
The temporary blue steel nose will be removed from the deck over the coming weeks and the remaining 40m section of bridge deck will be built in-situ on the north side during the summer months.

Joint venture partners Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction have now completed the highest risk elements of the innovative bridge construction programme.

The steel and concrete bridge deck weighing 4,750 tonnes was inched across the Wear and now connects Pallion to the south and Castletown to the north.

In February engineers successfully lifted the 1,550 tonnes A-frame centrepiece from a barge after it was sailed from a Belgian prefabrication yard.

Already the project is being hailed as a landmark in the use of off-site construction for bridge building.

Wear bridge

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.

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB Joint Venture, said: “It was a substantial structure to move across the river, so it was a very slow and steady operation.

“The positioning of the deck throughout was crucial as it had to be navigated through the middle of the pylon and then onto each of the temporary supports built in the river to support it.

“We had a team of people guiding it across and scrutinising its progress, as it was planned to the millimetre, but it went as expected, so we are very happy.”

The bridge is on track to be complete in the spring of 2018.

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