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22 September 2017

New Wear Crossing cables fully installed and tensioned to 50%

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
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28 cable stays
Looking good: The 28 cable stays are fully installed on the New Wear Crossing and tensioned to 50 percent.

Structural engineering company VSL International has installed all 28 cable stays of England’s New Wear Crossing and stressed them to 50% of their design load.

The next stage of stressing the cables will happen next month and be to 100% of design load. This will allow the construction team to adjust and tension them just enough to lift the bridge deck off the blue steel temporary supports that were constructed in the river to take the weight of the structure.
In the coming months, the temporary supports will be removed, leaving only the single central arched pylon and the bridge deck on display in the river.

Opening of the bridge is expected by spring of next year.

Finishing works, such as road surfacing, paving, lighting, the installation of railings and carrying out road markings, must all be complete before the cable stays can be finely adjusted and locked off at the end of construction.

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Each cable stay is contained inside a white protective
Stay put: Cable stay specialists and operatives from VSL International are pictured installing the cable stays between the pylon and the bridge deck.

 The 28 cable stays are installed in pairs north and south of the central pylon. Each cable stay is contained inside a white protective, plastic sheath. Inside each sheath, or tube, are between 44-77 strands, depending on a cable’s intended position on the deck, that form a single cable. They vary in length from 52-165m.

The longer the cable, the more strands there are. Each strand is the diameter of a small coin and will be tensioned to lift seven tonnes.

“People could be forgiven for thinking the bridge is very close to opening as the structure looks complete from a distance,” explained Stephen McCaffrey, project director for Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, a joint venture to deliver the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council.

“We still have quite a lot to do, such as completing the road works on both sides of the river, getting the surface of the bridge deck finished and all of those additional works and safety features complete.”
Work began on the New Wear Crossing – Sunderland’s first bridge across the River Wear in more than 40 years – in May 2015.

The bridge become more recognisable with the 105m pylon being erected in February, the bridge deck launched across the river in spring and the installation of the cable stays during the summer.

Companies in this article

VSL International
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