VIDEO: Sarens raises the pylon for New Wear Crossing in Sunderland

February 13, 2017
It was as weekend working in Sunderland city, northeast England, for global lifting specialist 8569 Sarens.

Over the two days, the Belgian company gently raised a 1,550tonne steel pylon that will form the backbone of the New Wear Crossing – no official name yet – across the River Wear.

General work on the two-span cable-stay bridge started on the bridge in May 2015. The structure will be supported by the single double pylon and will have four vehicle lanes, as well as dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes.

The New Wear Crossing is part of a strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and Sunderland city centre with the A19 main road. The bridge project is the key project report in the upcoming January/February issue of World Highways, available later this month.

The 336m steel and concrete bridge will be part of 2.8km of new road layout. Width of the bridge will be 25m and the longest span 240m.Completion is set for the spring 2018.

Victor Buyck Steel Construction, working with 1622 Farrans Construction, spent a year fabricating the pylon at its canal-side yard in Ghent, Belgium. Apart from the 1,550tonnes tonnes of steel, around 550tonnes of concrete went into making the pylon that, because of its size, had to be constructed in the open air.

Also because of its size, Sarens was called in to gingerly shift the completed pylon onto two canal barges for transport to the sea port. “The sheer size and weight of the pylon meant that it was never going to be an easy task,” said Jim Kilcar, bridge supervisor for contractor 3005 Atkins, which is overseeing the New Wear Crossing project for Sunderland City Council.