Royal boost for the Northern Spire bridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will see Sunderland's striking new Northern Spire bridge for themselves when they visit the project later this month.
Their Royal Highnesses will be introduced to some of the workers involved in the bridge's three year construction during their visit on Wednesday 21 February, before officially crossing the landmark bridge. They will also meet local schoolchildren.
They'll also officially open Sunderland’s new arts hub at the Fire Station.
The £117.6m road bridge across the River Wear, which is the biggest civil engineering project in the North East, is on track to open this Spring.
On completion, around 2,000 people will have worked on the project over about 900,000 man-hours.
The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight, said:
"I'm delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Sunderland to see our striking new bridge. I understand The Duke of Cambridge takes a keen interest in engineering so I hope he will find it really interesting.
"This is a project that's of massive significance to everyone in Sunderland and across the North East, bringing with it significant economic, regeneration and transport benefits to our city and the wider North East region."
With its striking 105m A-frame central pylon, which is taller than Big Ben's clock tower and twice as high as Nelson's Column, and its impressive 28 cable stays, it is already a major landmark on the city's skyline.
Part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, it will link 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.
It will open up swathes of land along the banks of the River Wear for future investment and regeneration, helping to create up to 6,000 jobs along the riverside corridor and boosting the local and regional economy.
It will also reduce congestion around the city, improve journey times, and be a source of pride and inspiration for Sunderland’s future generations.
The bridge has been built by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which formed a joint venture to deliver the bridge on behalf of Sunderland City Council.