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Fri May 07 2021

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Cable installation under way on Sunderland bridge

3 Aug 17 Bridge specialist VSL International has begun cable installation on the New Wear Crossing in Sunderland

Initial work to install the first 12 cable stays, connecting the bridge deck to the pylon, has already been carried out.

The remaining 16 cables will be attached over the next six weeks and tensioned to around 50% of their working load, until deck works are finished.

The 28 cable stays each have an outer sheath and contain between 44 and 77 individual wire strands, varying in length from 52 metres to 165 metres, depending on its position on the deck. Each 150mm-diameter strand, made up of several individual wires, can support up to 28 tonnes, although they will only be tensioned to support seven tonnes on the New Wear Crossing.

Stephen McCaffrey, project director for FVB joint venture (Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction), said: “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. 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.”

The New Wear Crossing, linking Castletown and Pallion, is on track to open in spring 2018.

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