Farrans JV set to start £120m Wear bridge

A joint venture of Farrans Construction and Belgium’s Victor Buyck Steel Construction has been confirmed to build an £120m bridge in Sunderland. Sunderland City Council’s New Wear Crossing project has been a long time in gestation. An initial design by architect Stephen Spence and structures consultant Technika ended up being too elaborate to be built within budget, meaning that the whole tender process was abandoned in 2013. [See our previous report here.]

A more conventional cable stayed structure has now been adopted and the Farrans Construction/Victor Buyck Steel Construction JV was selected ahead of Spanish contractor FCC Construction SA and a German/Spanish JV of Hochtief and Dragados.

The bridge will carry two lanes of traffic in each directions across the River Wear between Castletown on the north side and Pallion on the south. Work is now finally set to begin this summer, with completion scheduled for spring 2018

The city council is putting up £35m of funding for the project and the Department for Transport has secured £82m from central government coffers.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “It is one of the region’s biggest civil engineering projects and an investment that is going to help create more jobs and more economic growth. By improving links between the A19, the city centre and the Port of Sunderland, a new bridge has always been a key part of Sunderland’s on-going regeneration.”