1. ITV Report

Northern Spire bridge set to open in August

The Northern Spire bridge now needs painting and inspected before it can formally open. Credit: Sunderland City Council

Sunderland's new Northern Spire bridge, the first bridge to be built over the River Wear in over 40 years, is now expected to open in August.

The bridge had originally been scheduled to open in the spring. However, the harsh winter weather conditions were said to have delayed works.

Painting works and an inspection of the bridge are now to be completed before the bridge can formally open.

A night shot of the Northern Spire bridge. Credit: Sunderland City Council

Commenting on the delayed opening Mark Jackson, head of infrastructure and transport at Sunderland City Council, said: "Unfortunately, the weather was a big issue for us earlier this year and FVB, the main contractor, hasn't been able to complete the painting in time that we had all planned for.

"The bridge opening may be behind where we wanted it to be, but our long-term plan for Sunderland is still very much on schedule."

The bridge is now scheduled to open in August. Credit: Sunderland City Council

No official opening date has been set for the bridge. It cost £117.6m to build and was funded both by the government and Sunderland City Council.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We appreciate that people are very eager to see Northern Spire complete and are curious as to when it will open to the public. We, too, are excited to see it in use."

"The only substantive works remaining are painting and inspecting, so we are counting down to opening day."

Once completed the bridge will link Castletown to the north of the river with Pallion in the south. It's part of a wider plan to improve the road network between the A19 and the Port of Sunderland and Sunderland City Centre.