Sunderland’s new bridge a ‘national priority’ for Government

The first bridge to be built over the River Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years has been listed as a national priority for the Government.

New Wear Bridge

The New Wear Crossing has been included in the Government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which sets out its building priorities for the next five years.

The plans are underpinned by the Government’s commitment to invest more than £100bn in infrastructure between now and 2021 and brings together all of its infrastructure priorities.

Sunderland’s new bridge, which is set to be completed in the spring of 2018, has been included in the plan after meeting the following criteria:

  • It is nationally significant and will deliver substantial new or replacement infrastructure of enhanced quality, sustainability and capacity
  • It has the potential to drive economic growth or unlock significant private investment
  • It makes a significant contribution to the Government’s strategic objectives

The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.

It is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and Sunderland city centre with the A19, and will reduce journey times for drivers, regenerate land along the river and attract investment.

It is estimated that the bridge will lead to the creation of 6,000 new jobs at development sites along the river corridor and will enable businesses to be more competitive.

It will also enhance public transport in the city, attract investment in housing developments and provide a striking landmark and feature for tourists.

Work on the new bridge is picking up pace this year, with the construction team now working in the river itself on the foundations of the main pylon of the bridge.

Sunderland City Council Leader Cllr Paul Watson said: “I’m glad Government has once again recognised the importance of this great project, not only for the people of Sunderland, but for the wider North East economy too, by including it in its latest national infrastructure plan.

“There is no doubt that this project meets each of the criteria set out in the plan. It will drive economic growth in the city, enhance the quality of life of residents, commuters and those who use public transport, and will give businesses a competitive edge.

“We’re really excited to see all of the work taking place in the river. I’m certain the New Wear Crossing is going to be a bridge to a better future.”

The end of 2016 will mark a significant milestone in the construction of the bridge when the impressive 105m A-frame pylon is floated from Belgium on a giant barge before being slowly hoisted into position on the river.

Twice as high as Nelson’s Column and taller than Big Ben’s clock tower, it will arrive into the Port of Sunderland and will then be slowly transported up the River Wear in a carefully planned phase of work.

It will take several hours to raise the pylon and secure it in place, creating a spectacle for the people of Sunderland to watch.

To see how the bridge will be built, watch our Making the Bridge a Reality animated video here

To sign up to receive regular updates on the New Wear Crossing, email newwearcrossing@farrans.comasking to be put on the distribution list.

For more information, go to, or call 0800 223 0379.

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