New Bridge Foundations to Start as Cofferdam Nears Completion

Kimberley Workman
The foundations to Sunderland’s new bridge are about to be built as the huge cofferdam in the middle of the River Wear nears completion – signaling the start of a new phase in Faithful+Gould’s involvement on the project.

In the coming days, the last remaining work will be carried out on the cofferdam, which is a large steel watertight structure within the river, so that the necessary bridge foundations can be constructed below the water surface. The foundations within the cofferdam are a critical element in the bridge construction and will support the main 105m pylon structure that is due to be dramatically hoisted into place later this year.

"The benefits of the bridge are going to be significant. Crucially, it will lead to investment in the city..."

Paul Watson, Sunderland City Council Leader

Faithful+Gould has been heavily involved with the scheme, supporting the client team with project management and CDM expertise since the early planning stages and more recently, working alongside its parent company Atkins as part of an integrated contract supervision team. The next phase will continue to see Faithful+Gould provide a full suite of project management, contract management, cost control, CDM and health & safety expertise to ensure the bridge opens succesfully in Spring 2018.

Sunderland City Council Cofferdam Completion

Sunderland City Council Leader, Paul Watson, said he was excited to see work progressing on the new bridge: "The people of Sunderland have waited a long time for this bridge, so it will be wonderful to see the foundations getting underway in the river. The benefits of the bridge are going to be significant. Crucially, it will lead to investment in the city, will see land along the south of the river regenerated, and will reduce journey times for motorists. It’s been a long time coming, but I firmly believe it will be a bridge to a better future."

"The project will help to create thousands of new jobs at development sites along the riverside corridor, and will bring new business opportunities to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland."

Kristian Haagensen, Faithful+Gould Project Manager

The project team has produced a video animation of the three-year bridge-building process and has released time-lapse films showing some of the progress on site to date. It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years and is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19.

Kristian Haagensen, Faithful+Gould Project Manager, said: "Independent economic studies have indicated that every £1 invested in construction will result in £2.84 of economic benefit and we are starting to see the short term benefits of this investment already. When linked with the wider improvements planned for the road network as part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC), the New Wear Crossing will be a key economic driver for future investment in the city. The project will help to create thousands of new jobs at development sites along the riverside corridor, and will bring new business opportunities to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland. It will also be a striking landmark and feature; something for the people of Sunderland to be really proud of."

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