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Wearmouth Bridge (1929)
River Wear, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, UK
associated engineer
Mott Hay & Anderson
date  1927 - 31st October 1929
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NZ395574
ICE reference number  HEW 762
The Grade II listed Wearmouth road bridge in Sunderland is the last bridge over the River Wear before it meets the North Sea. It was constructed around the original cast iron bridge (1796) before that one was demolished, enabling traffic over the bridge and shipping beneath it to continue unabated. Its design is similar to Mott, Hay & Anderson's Tyne Bridge (1928) at Newcastle.
Wearmouth Bridge is a three-pin steel arch bridge with a 114.3m long single span 28.3m above the river. Its design differs slightly from the Tyne Bridge — it has no towers and uses rocker bearings rather than pins.
The bridge has a pair of parabolic rib trusses with Warren bracing springing from concrete abutments faced with dressed stone. Its 14.6m wide suspended deck has two northbound lanes, three southbound lanes and two cycle footways.
The old bridge acted as a temporary support for the new arch during construction, removing the need for staging and reducing costs. Almost all of the original structure was removed, though much of the balustrading from Robert Stephenson's reconstruction (1857-59) was retained.
The new bridge cost £232,000, of which some £12,000 was for demolishing the original, and it was opened by HRH the Duke of York (later George VI).
The bridge has been painted several colours over the years, including red, but is now back to its original green.
Resident engineer: Geoffrey Lancaster Groves
Contractor: Sir William Arrol & Co Ltd
Arrol chief engineer: Adam Hunter
Research: ECPK
bibliography
"The Wearmouth Bridge" by Gillian Cookson
undated, available at www.englandspastforeveryone.org.uk
"The Wearmouth Bridge", Local Studies Centre Fact Sheet Number 7
available at www.sunderland.gov.uk
"Discussion on Bridges" by Sir C. Kilpatrick et al
ICE Proceedings, Vol.230, pp.189-94, London, 1930
"Bridges of the River Wear" by Keith Cockerill
The People’s History Ltd, Seaham, County Durham, 2005
http://sine.ncl.ac.uk
www.icevirtuallibrary.com
reference sources   CEH North
Location

Wearmouth Bridge (1929)