In pictures: Cables added to Wear bridge

August 9 2017   | Region: North East & Cumbria

In pictures: Cables added to Wear bridge
Work has begun to install 28 cable stays on Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing, with progress to date documented in new photographs released by the project team.
 
The cables will support the bridge deck by securing it to the structure’s A-frame pylon. Initial work to attach the first 12 has already been carried out while the remaining cables will be installed in the coming weeks.
 
It is expected to take structural engineering contractor VSL International a further six weeks to finish installing the cables and tension them to around 50% of their working load. Only once other remaining work – including road finishing activity on the bridge deck – is complete later this year will the cables be tensioned to 100%, enabling temporary supporting towers in the River Wear to be removed.
 
“The installation of the cable stays is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw as we near completion of Sunderland’s new bridge,” commented Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson. “Bit by bit, we can really start to see just how impressive the new bridge is going to look.”
 
Each cable stay comprises a collection of between 44 and 77 wire strands encased in an outer sheath. For installation this protective tube is lifted into position first before individual strands are threaded through and tensioned to secure the cable stay in place.
 
“It’s easy to look at the outer sheath for the cables and not realise the strength and complexity of the technology that sits within them,” said project director for construction joint venture FVB Stephen McCaffrey. The joint venture comprises Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction.
 
“Fixing these cables is a hugely specialised job and it will be our core focus for the work on the bridge itself for the coming weeks,” he added.
 
Once open in the spring the New Wear Crossing will improve road links between the A19, Sunderland City Centre and the Port of Sunderland, as well as opening up land for regeneration.
 
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