Pushing a bridge deck on pillars

Pushing a bridge deck on pillars

Commissioned by: Victor Buyck
Location: Sunderland, UK

Pushing and supporting a bridge deck from land onto temporary supports built in the river. Commissioned by Victor Buyck, Holmatro supplied 100 ton locknut cylinders and Vari pumps.


The New Wear Crossing is the first bridge to be built over the River Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years and is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19. The cable-stayed bridge weighs over 3,100 tons and features an A-frame pylon rising to 115m (379ft) a total span of 336 meters. It  will have two lanes of traffic in both directions plus dedicated cycleways and footpaths along its full length. The completion for all the works is programmed for spring 2018.

The steel pylon was assembled and welded by Victor Buyck in 12 individual pieces, commencing by the end of April 2016. Some parts were assembled in the workshop in Eeklo, others in the workshop in Wondelgem. All parts were gathered in Wondelgem for assembling the complete pylon. The first pieces could be joined inside, until the dimensions required to continue in the yard outside the workshop. The completed pylon weights 1,800 tons, of which the steelwork takes up 1,100 tons. At the base 500 tons of concrete were poured in the steelwork. The remaining weight includes all temporary steelwork for transport and erection on site.


On site the substantial deck had to be navigated from land through the middle of the pylon and then onto each of the temporary supports built in the river to support it.


For pushing and supporting the deck Holmatro supplied 34 locknut cylinders with each a capacity of 100 tons and a 50 mm stroke. The cylinders were operated by multiple Flowpanels (valve blocks) and Vari pumps.

Read more about Flowpanels >

Read more about Vari Pumps >

Watch the video of the construction of Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing:

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