Tarmac has led a 26-hour continuous pouring operation to help complete work on Sunderland’s new bridge across the River Wear. The company supplied more than 200 loads of concrete to the pour.
The cofferdam in the centre of the river - which allows construction work to take place underwater - where the foundations to the bridge’s main A-frame pylon are being built, was filled with almost 1500 cubic metres of Tarmac’s concrete. More than 100 people are now working on site, with both local and international specialists working together to deliver the new bridge on time, by the spring of 2018.
The concrete supplied in the pour came from Tarmac’s Sunderland and Gateshead plants, with the company being one of the main suppliers to the project since work began in May 2015. Fifteen lorries were used to continuously transport concrete from Tarmac’s plants to site. Significant progress has been made recently on the project, with activity on site now at its peak.
Commenting on the success of the operation, Jon Merchant, production manager for Tarmac Readymix concrete for Tyne and Wear said: “A collaborative attitude and flexible approach to service was critical in achieving the volume and consistency required over a 26-hour pour. Bringing in the right people and creating a team focused on delivering results for our customers was essential to the project in achieving this critical milestone.”
Various meetings were held with Tarmac's technical, operational, logistics and commercial teams to plan for this as the mix and supply rates required were particularly complex.
Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB joint venture, created by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the contract on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “The concrete pour was a major task because it had to be completed at a pace and without interruption over a prolonged period, meaning we had a continuous flow of concrete mixers coming to site both day and night. We worked closely with Tarmac to ensure the operation ran smoothly and was a success.”
Leader of Sunderland City Council Cllr Paul Watson said: “The people of Sunderland have waited a long time for this, so it’s wonderful to finally see the bridge unfolding and our ambitions become a reality.
“The new crossing is going to attract investment into Sunderland, help to regenerate key areas along the river, and inject a great sense of pride into the community. There are no doubts in my mind that it will have a profound impact on the future of this great city.”