The 1550-tonne A-frame tower will be raised at the site of the city’s new bridge over the River Wear during a carefully orchestrated operation that is likely to take up to 24 hours to complete.
Nothing of this scale has been lifted in this way in the UK since the London Eye was raised in 1999.
The striking white pylon was transported to the site of the New Wear Crossing from the Port of Sunderland during the early hours of last Thursday. You can see footage of the pylon being transported to site here.
During this week, it has been rotated into position and now work is underway to attach the pylon to the foundations that have been built into the riverbed to support it.
Preparation works for the raising operation are taking place this week and early next. The team is preparing to raise the pylon sometime during the next fortnight. It is most likely to take place during the week commencing Monday, January 30, but could possibly be the following week of February 6. The raising operation will be dependent on weather conditions. More definitive dates will be given nearer the time.
Once raised into position, it will take several weeks for the team to secure the pylon to the foundations, in readiness for the next section of bridge deck to be pulled out across the river in spring.
The bridge is on track to be complete in the spring of 2018. By linking Castletown to the north of the River Wear with Pallion in the south, it will significantly improve important transport links to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland, open up land for regeneration and attract investment into the city.
The New Wear Crossing is being built on behalf of Sunderland City Council by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which have formed FVB Joint Venture.