The launch of the bridge deck and the ‘single-lift’ of the 105m steel pylon centrepiece into its vertical position provided key project highlights.
Tony Dempsey

Tony Dempsey

Farrans Victor Buyck Construction JV
JV Partner
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
Sunderland, UK


Roughan & O’Donovan is providing consultancy services - from tender through to completion of construction - for the permanent works structures on this large scale infrastructure design and build scheme.


The bridge crossing comprises a 24m wide steel concrete composite deck construction cable supported over 240 metres from a 105m high steel A-frame pylon with sections of concrete and concrete/steel composite construction.

Major and minor structures designed to facilitate the scheme construction included:

  • 140m long x 25m wide piled basal mattress
  • Reinforced earth wall retained embankment up to 9 metres in height
  • Retaining walls of sheet pile, contiguous bored pile and reinforced earth construction

The bridge pylon was fabricated in one piece off-site. It was then moved onto a barge and towed into the Port of Sunderland.


The raising of the 1550-tonne bridge pylon was a challenging operation and took over 15 hours to complete.  It marked the culmination of 2 years of design and planning and 12 months of fabricating.

Watch the video to see the construction team complete this amazing piece of engineering.

Services provided:

  • Bridge engineering design
  • Structural engineering design
  • Geotechnical
  • Temporary works
  • Electrical
  • Lightning protection
  • Road engineering design services