Northern Spire

The new road bridge is a two span cable-stayed bridge with an A-frame pylon rising to 105m (344ft) crossing the River Wear between Castletown on the north to Pallion on the south bank.

The new bridge has two lanes of traffic in each direction, plus shared cycleways and footpaths along its full length.

It opened on 29 August 2018.

To see a short video of the three year project from start of construction to opening to traffic, view the Northern Spire Story.

This pylon is twice as high as Gateshead's Millennium Bridge and taller than Big Ben's clock tower.

• Angel of the North - 20m
• Statue of Liberty - 46m
• Gateshead Millennium Bridge - 50m
• Nelson's Column - 51m
• Elizabeth Tower (the clock tower which houses Big Ben) - 96m
• Northern Spire - 105m
• London Eye - 135m
• Blackpool Tower - 158m

Location

For a map of the new road layout click here

Northern Spire crosses the river from the A1231 Wessington Way where Timber Beach Road joins Hylton Park Road near Sainsbury's in Castletown on the north bank to join with the B1405 European Way/Pallion New Road in Pallion on the south bank.

At its midpoint, it is around one kilometre to the west of the Queen Alexandra Bridge.

It will provide a vital new transport link across the River Wear that will help connect the Port of Sunderland and Sunderland city centre with the A19, the developing IAMP Enterprise Zone and the wider Tyne and Wear city-region.

As well as improving road transport links and making journeys quicker and more reliable, the new bridge will open up the Metro network to thousands of people who live, work and play on the north side of the River Wear to employment and leisure opportunities right across the region.

Junctions with the local road network will be improved to link to the new bridge at:

Northern approach link: This new road will connect the A1231 Wessington Way on the north bank of the River Wear to the new bridge. The project includes making improvements to Wessington Way to change the existing roundabout near Sainsbury's to a four-way signalised junction.

Riverside north link: This is an improved road running beneath the new Northern Approach Link which will connect Timber Beach Road to Hylton Park Road to provide better connections within Sunderland Enterprise Park. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to get to and from the new bridge directly to the Enterprise Park.

Southern approach link: This new road connects the new bridge to Woodbine Terrace on the southern bank of the River Wear. This will be the main onward route towards Sunderland City Centre.

Western link: This connects European Way to the Southern Approach Link. It is split into two sections - the first leads from European Way, heads under the Metro bridge and will connect to a new roundabout at the western end of the Western Link. The second section runs east from the new roundabout and connects with the Southern Approach Link via a signal controlled T-junction.

Woodbine Terrace link. This new road will connect the Southern Approach Link to European Way. The existing roundabout that connects Woodbine Terrace to Pallion New Road will be changed to a four-way signalised junction. Access to the existing retail park to the east of Woodbine Terrace will be maintained.

Riverside south link: The Riverside South Link will connect the Southern Approach Link to the existing riverside. It will provide access to Ditchburn Terrace and the proposed development area west of the New Wear Crossing.

Attraction/Venue Information

Did you know?

Sunderland is home of the National Glass Centre - the only UK centre celebrating the history of glass making and providing a world focus for glass. The centre reopened in 2013 after undergoing a major refurbishment.

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