Northern Spire, which Atkins and Faithful+Gould collaboratively delivered project management, cost management, NEC3 ECC supervision and health and safety services, has been the biggest construction project in the North East in recent years. It features an impressive 105m central A-frame pylon, which is twice the height of Nelson’s Column and taller than Big Ben’s clock tower.
The APM crowned the bridge Project of the Year for the essential role that project management techniques had in delivering success, and the overwhelming benefits the collaborative project team has provided their client, the project and its wider stakeholders.
Duncan Ross Russell, project management lead for the bridge and regional director at Faithful+Gould, said: “It’s an incredible achievement for everyone who was involved in the Northern Spire. Delivering this major construction project was a colossal and collaborative task; Atkins and Faithful+Gould were an integral part of a fantastic team of talented professionals who brought together their skills and expertise to make this project the success it is. Winning this award is testament to the hard work and dedication we’ve all committed to the Northern Spire from day one. It’s a proud moment for all of us.”
As it opened to traffic in August, around 2,000 people had worked on the project over one-million man-hours with no lost time accidents. It has unlocked swathes of land along the banks of the River Wear for future investment and regeneration, and is destined to create up to 6,000 jobs along the riverside corridor, boosting the local and regional economy. The site itself also hosted over 2,000 school pupil visits to the site, delivering STEM talks to 1,560 students across the north-east.
Ewan Peacock, commercial lead on the project and associate director at Faithful+Gould, said: “It’s been an immense construction project, complex and challenging at times, but our teamwork on Northern Spire has exemplified principles of mutual respect, cooperation and collaboration. From the start, we have recognised the importance of effective relationships and collaborations within and across all disciplines on this incredible project, as well as the need to engage with the community beyond. It’s due to this collaborative effort that the project has been a success. We are honoured that the Northern Spire has received APM recognition; it truly demonstrates what people can achieve through project management and collaboration.”
It is the first bridge to be built across the River Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years and is part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, linking the International Advanced Manufacturing Park on the A19, which is being developed as an internationally-recognised destination for advanced manufacturing, with Sunderland city centre and the Port of Sunderland.
Jim Kilcar, supervisor for the construction of the cable-stayed bridge and Atkins project manager for the services delivered to Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have worked on a project of such massive significance for the region; one which will connect communities and create opportunities for major new development and growth in the North East. For the project to be nationally recognised by APM showcases the important and valuable contribution the Northern Spire has within the UK construction industry.”