A stunning new video showcasing almost three years of construction work on Sunderland’s new bridge has been released.
The Northern Spire – Story So Far video has been released as the construction team has confirmed the new bridge is on track to open on time and within budget later this spring.
The new film tells the story since work began in May 2015 using a mix of timelapse footage, drone shots and interviews with people involved in the project.
The new bridge will get a royal boost next week as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the construction site on Wednesday, 21 February. Their Royal Highnesses William and Kate will be introduced to some of the workers involved in the project during its three-year construction, before being the first to officially cross the landmark bridge. They will also meet local schoolchildren.
The new road bridge across the River Wear, which is the biggest civil engineering project in the North East, is on track to open later this spring. On completion, around 2,000 people will have worked on the project over about 900,000 man-hours.
Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for Farrans Victor Buyck Joint Venture (FVB), which is delivering the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s an exciting and very busy time for everyone involved with Northern Spire.
“We have a lot of work to do over the coming weeks and the key thing for us is that a lot of that work is weather dependent. We need dry weather to finish off activities such as the final road surfacing. This means that while we’re confident of opening later in the spring, it’s too early to set a definite date.”
Sunderland City Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Harry Trueman, said: “It’s amazing to watch this video and see how much the site along the banks of the River Wear has changed over three years and is incredible to look back 12 months to see the central 105m pylon being raised into place.
“A lot of progress has certainly been made in the past year.”
The name of Sunderland’s impressive new bridge across the River Wear was unveiled as ‘Northern Spire’ just before Christmas, following a week-long public vote, where members of the community were asked to choose their favourite from a possible list of three. More than 10,000 votes were cast, with Northern Spire receiving almost half of the votes.
The new bridge and road improvement programme is phase two of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, which is a five-phase plan to improve links between the A19 and Sunderland City Centre and the Port of Sunderland.
The Northern Spire will help reduce congestion around the city, speed up journey time for motorists and will enable a huge area of land along the south side of the River Wear to be regenerated and opened-up for developed.