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Centrepiece for new Wear Crossing arrives in Sunderland

The A-frame pylon left Belgium on Thursday 5th January. Credit: Sunderland City Council

By Kris Jepson

The centrepiece of Sunderland's new bridge has arrived in the city.

The A-frame pylon, which will stand 105 metres above the River Wear, twice the height of the Tyne Bridge, left Ghent in Belgium on Thursday 5th January.

It docked in the Port of Sunderland at around 1.30pm on Saturday 7th January.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

As the pylon approached Wearside, it was met by harbour tug boats from the North East about a mile off the port entrance.

It was then brought in through the curved arms of the Roker and New South piers, before berthing at Greenwells Quay.

It will be seen for miles around and it will be a landmark, definitely to begin with, but I think iconic is how it builds for the future and clearly some of the bigger part of the bridge is the fact that it will have such a massive impact on the economy of the city, help the region and certainly have a social impact as well. Seeing the thing erected and being built will give a soul back to the city.

– Cllr Paul Watson, Leader, Sunderland City Council

The pylon will be the centerpiece of the new wear crossing - a four lane two way 330m bridge on track to end open next spring.

The whole operation, right up to erection of the pylon in the coming months, is a complex engineering feat.

The last time we saw something like this in the UK is when the London Eye was lifted into position. The London Eye was moved up along the River Thames adjacent to where it was going to be and was then lifted into place through a sort of cantilever system. We'll be doing something very similar. It's not been done that often and it will be very exciting and I'm sure when we do that, there will be lots of people there to see it again.

– David Abdy, New Wear Crossing Project Director
The bridge deck is being assembled on the riverbank in Sunderland. The giant tusk-like structures that have been built into the riverbed will be secured to the pylon to hold it in place. Credit: Sunderland City Council.

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TRAFFIC: Diversions in place as work on New Wear Crossing continues

The New Wear Crossing roadworks at Pallion Junction are entering their next phase as work continues to link the new bridge to Sunderland’s main road network.

Work will be ongoing in the Pallion Junction area until spring 2017. The section of European Way between Pallion Junction and the entrance to Pallion Industrial Estate will now be shut in both directions through until mid-July to allow the construction team to work in this area.

Diversions in place as work on new Wear Crossing continues

The existing signed diversion, via St Luke’s Road, will continue and vehicle and pedestrian access to local shops, Pallion Retail Park and Pallion Metro Station, will be maintained.

The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.

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North East rivers to receive fish stock boost

Fisheries officers will be stocking the Rivers Tees and Wear today, as part of the Environment Agency's plans to to develop and restore rivers in the region.

Thousands of Chub, Dace, Roach, Crucian Carp, Tench, Rudd and Bream will be introduced to the River Tees at Low Conniscliffe and Darlington, and to the River Wear at Maiden Castle.

Roach is one of the species being being added to fish stocks in the region Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

Six stillwater fisheries in the region will also be stocked with 15,000 Roach, Rudd, Bream, Tench and Crucian Carp to help improve angling.

The Environment Agency releases fish into waterways annually, using data from national fish surveys to identify areas where there are problems with breeding and survival.

Cool summers on the Rivers Wear and Tees have made it more difficult for fish to survive, so the introduction of new stock will help boost dwindling populations.

The fish come from the Environment Agency's fish farm at Calverton in Nottinghamshire, where between 350,000 and 500,000 fish are bred to stock rivers each year.

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