Preparations are underway to install the cable stays on Sunderland’s £117.6M New Wear Crossing.
The team from FVB Joint Venture – formed from Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction – are preparing to install the bridge’s 28 cable stays which will support the bridge deck. They will be installed over the summer by specialist VSL International.
Each cable stay will be contained inside a white protective plastic tube with the tube installed first and then a number of wire strands threaded through to form the stay cables.
Each tube will contain between 45 and 85 individual strands, depending on its position on the deck. Each strand is around 20mm in diameter and have a 7t capacity.
However before the cables can be installed, 674 precast concrete road deck panels will need to be joined together by pouring concrete between them, connecting them to the steel bridge deck underneath.
Once the stitching is complete on the south side of the deck, the cable installation will begin.
Work is also continuing to assemble the remaining 40m of bridge deck on the north side of the river, which is due to be completed later this summer and will bring the deck to its final span of 330m.
“Work is progressing really well, but there is still a lot to do, so we have a very busy summer ahead,” said FVB project director Stephen McCaffrey.
“Our priorities now are stitching the concrete panels together on the deck, completing the remaining piece of bridge deck, and then installing the cables. Finishing the major roadworks on both sides of the river is also a priority. We appreciate the inconvenience they cause.
“We are into the final third of the project, but there are still some major tasks ahead. We have put a lot of time and effort into planning, and we have an incredible team working on the project, bringing together international, North East and local expertise, so we don’t envisage any problems ahead.”
Construction on the bridge started in May 2015 which is being supported by a design team led by Buro Happold Engineering and Roughan & O’Donovan, and independent checker Ramboll.
In February this year, the bridge had its first major milestone when its 1,550t, 100m tall, steel and concrete main pylon was erected.
The crossing is due to be complete by the spring of 2018.