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Work on Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing is moving forward at a good pace, with workers now preparing to install the cable stays.

The cables are to be installed over summer by global structural engineering company, VSL International, which specialises in the installation and tensioning of cable stays. The next milestone includes 28 cable stays that will hold the bridge deck firmly in place. Each cable stay will be contained inside a white protective plastic tube. The tube will be 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 will be the diameter of a penny and will have the capacity to lift seven tonnes.

Before the cables can be installed, however, the 674 concrete panels on the deck, which will form the basis of the road, must be joined, or stitched, together.

Work is also continuing to assemble the remaining 40m of bridge deck on the north side of the river, which is due to be complete later this summer and will bring the deck to its final span of 330m.

The team is currently pouring concrete into the joins between the panels. This will stitch the precast concrete deck panels together and connect them to the steel deck frame that supports them. Once the stitching on the south side of the deck is complete, the cable installation can 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 complete later this summer and will bring the deck to its final span of 330m.

Roadworks around the bridge site, on both the north and south sides of the river, are also nearing an end. The roads around Pallion Junction are currently closed overnight each day, until early July, to enable resurfacing works to be carried out, and in Castletown the major works are due for completion this summer.

Work began on the New Wear Crossing in May 2015.

Source – UK Construction Online

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