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Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 6 No 1


Trevor Sawyer, Area Development Manager for the

Lanes Newcastle depot, said:

“A significant amount of the work involves

carrying out desilting and CCTV drainage work

along the highway network that the New Wear

Bridge will eventually serve.”


The south bank of the river at Pallion is a hive of activity,

with demolition work now almost complete on the for-

mer Groves Cranes site, making way for more than 800

concrete piles that will support the approach to the


Elsewhere on the site, the construction team is busy

building up the earthworks and foundations for the new

Western Link approach road, which will connect the new

bridge to European Way.

The statistics from the project’s progress on the 96

acre site are impressive.

Since work started on the new bridge last summer

the construction team has:

• Installed over 800 vertical concrete piles into the

ground to support the new road structure leading to

the bridge

• Removed over 30,000 tonnes of earth and other ma-

terials - that can’t be reused - from the site

• Dismantled 170,000 square foot of fire damaged and

disused buildings

• Crushed 36,000 tonnes of brick, stone and other ma-

terial from the demolished buildings, which will be

re-used on the project.

• There are currently 180 people working on the pro-

ject, from designing the scheme, to working on site

and providing backroom support. This is made up of

a mix of counci l staff, contractors and


Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City

Council, said:

“The New Wear Crossing will open up huge new

opportunities for regeneration, development

and investment on the south side of the river.

It’s great to see work progressing so well and

these numbers show the scale of the preparation

work that we need to do to link the new bridge

to the new approach roads.”

The vertical concrete piles are now very visible from

across the river. By the end of this year, once the piling

work on the south bank is complete, there will be over

800 piles driven into the ground to form the bedrock of

the new approach road.

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB JV, said:

“Our team is working closely with Sunderland

City Council and Port of Sunderland to make sure

this preparation work goes smoothly. Demolition

and piling work always present unexpected

challenges, but we’re very pleased with how

things are progressing so far.”

David Abdy, Project Director of the New Wear

Crossing project for Sunderland City Council, said:

“The project has moved forward a long way

since we started the dismantling work at the

beginning of the summer 2015, but there is

plenty more work for us to do before the new

bridge is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.

The good news is that we are on track and

moving forward.”

During the next few weeks, contractor FVB JV will be

capping each pile with reinforced concrete. The con-

struction team will then start infilling the area between

the piles with crushed concrete and aggregate to create

the embankment that will ultimately support the main

southern approach road.

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director with FVB JV, the

partnership set up by Farrans Construction and Victor

Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project, said once

the embankment was complete by early next summer,

it will be used as the launch platform to assemble the

bridge deck on.

Stephen said:

“From the new year, people will see a marked

increase in construction activities as the

foundations are established on both sides of the

riverbank and the central cofferdam is developed

in the river itself, where we will be able to work

from to put the central pylon foundation in place.

“The piling work to date has gone smoothly

and we are on schedule with the project. There

are still a lot of advance works underway on both

sides of the river, which may be inconveniencing

drivers for a time, so we thank people for their

continued patience and urge them to drive care-

fully and according to the speed limits. We are

doing everything we can to keep disruption to a


Work on the New Wear Crossing got underway in

May 2015. The project, part of a wider strategic transport

plan, will help regenerate the area, relieve congestion

and attract new jobs and investment to Sunderland.

Much of the work carried out to date has been pre-

paratory, with buildings being demolished and the site

on both the north and south sides of the river being

cleared. About 100 people are working on site at the

moment, but that will rise to around 180 during summer,

when construction reaches its peak. Works currently

taking place include:

• Pile capping on the south side of the river

• Widening of Woodbine Terrace in Pallion

• Advance utility works along Wessington Way

• Advance utility works at European Way and Pallion

New Road roundabout.

• [cw]

Contractors World UK & Ireland