Major progress on Wear crossing

THE striking 105 metre high centrepiece to Sunderland’s new bridge has made its dramatic appearance in the city.

The impressive white structure, which is constructed from more than 1,000 tonnes of steel and 550 tonnes of concrete, arrived into the Port of Sunderland at around 1.30pm on Saturday with several hundred onlookers lining the banks of the River Wear to watch it arrive.

When the pylon arrived, it was met by harbour tug boats from the North-East, about a mile off the Port entrance, and then towed past the Roker and New South piers before berthing at Greenwells Quay.

It will be moored at the port for several weeks while final preparations are carried out before it is transported three miles up the river to the site of the new bridge between Pallion and Castletown.

While the pylon is moored at the port, members of the public will be able to see it from the roof of the National Glass Centre, which offers excellent views across the riverside and port area.

The pylon will form the centrepiece of the New Wear Crossing, which is on track to open in the spring of 2018.

It is hoped it will attract investment into Sunderland, create new jobs and regenerate land along the river.

Leader of Sunderland City Council Councillor Paul Watson said: “Seeing the pylon here in Sunderland for the first time makes me personally feel very proud of all the work that has been put in by a lot of people to turn this project into a reality.

involved who has ensured that we have got this far, on time and within budget.”

The new bridge will link Castletown to the north of the River Wear with Pallion to the south, and will have dual two-lane carriageways for vehicles, as well as dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes.

It will enhance public transport, as well as significantly improve the important transport links to the city centre and Port of Sunderland from the A19 and A1.

The next milestone in the bridge project will be the transportation of the pylon up the river to its permanent new home.

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