The Debut of the Northern Spire Bridge in England

August 28, 2018

In England’s North East region, the recently completed Northern Spire Bridge within the city and metropolitan borough of Sunderland was opened to pedestrians. This two-span cable-stayed bridge carries the highway A1231 over the River Wear and serves as a link between the Sunderland suburbs of Pallion and Castletown.

The 1,102-foot (336-meter)-long structure was the first bridge to be built across the River Wear in more than four decades. With its central A-frame pylon measuring 344 feet (105 meters) in height, the Northern Spire Bridge is the tallest structure in Sunderland.

The day after being opened to pedestrians, the Northern Spire Bridge was officially dedicated. Sunderland Mayor and Councillor Lynda Scanlan cut a ribbon at the bridge as a part this ceremony, and afterwards the structure was opened to motor vehicle traffic. The Northern Spire Bridge now accommodates motor vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

Construction on the Northern Spire Bridge had begun in 2015. It was built as part of the Sunderland City Council’s larger plans for improving the local transportation network. Professor Lawrence Bellamy, academic dean for the faculty of business, law, and tourism at the University of Sunderland, emphasized the potential economic benefits of the bridge at the time of its debut. “The Northern Spire bridge development is a critical component of infrastructure for Sunderland and the region,” said Bellamy. “Linking key arterial routes is the key to efficient distribution of traffic.”

Photo Credit: Sunderland Renaissance (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license at

For more information on the Northern Spire Bridge, please check out

A video of the bridge’s debut is available at

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