This month marks the completion of another key milestone on Phase 3 of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC3) as the scheme reaches 70% completion.
Construction work on the Trimdon Street eastbound carriageway and the installation of 350 linear metres of new retaining walls within the Trimdon Street Retail Park is now complete. This key phase of work has allowed the newly constructed eastbound carriageway to open for use by road users and pedestrians.
Taking around nine months to complete, some works were carried out overnight to minimise disruption and prioritise safety.
The £35m project – which is being delivered by Esh Construction’s civil engineering division, Esh Civils, on behalf of Sunderland City Council – will create a new uninterrupted dual carriageway link to the Northern Spire bridge and the city centre.
The new eastbound carriageway and footpath is home to the new 5G cable which forms part of Sunderland City Council’s commitment to improving digital connectivity throughout the city.
Works on the two and a half-year project continued throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, enabling installation of a new soil nail wall adjacent to the Pallion Shipyard to begin ahead of programme, with the 1,000th soil nail being installed in early August.
Steven Garrigan, Project Director at Esh, said: “The completion of the Eastbound carriageway and retaining wall at Trimdon Street is a huge milestone for the project. The logistics of working in close proximity to the retail park, surrounding residential whilst maintaining two-way traffic on this main route in and out of the city is a huge achievement for all involved.
“Despite the day to day challenges, along with the Covid-19 pandemic, this milestone allows the project to move into the next phase, with the construction of the new Westbound carriageway at Trimdon street commencing two months ahead of programme. This is testament to the team’s determination to maintain delivery of the project on schedule.”
Councillor Paul Stewart, Sunderland City Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “I am delighted to see this important project hit another significant milestone.
“As a council one of our biggest priorities is to make sure that we improve our city’s connectivity and transport links and this new dual carriageway is a key part of that, so it is great to see it progressing despite the challenges we have all faced over the last few months.”
The project forms part of the wider £70.8m investment by the council to establish a strategic public transport corridor which is aimed at connecting communities to the city centre and relieving congestion while also improving business links.
More than 25 Sunderland businesses have benefitted from work on SSTC3 and it has supported a large number of local jobs, with 53 per cent of employees working on the scheme living within 20 miles of it.
Cllr Stewart added: “We are absolutely committed as a council to community wealth – delivering projects that are supported by local businesses, so that the city and its people get the maximum benefit of any council spend. As with many other projects we’re working on across Sunderland, this is delivering tangible benefits to our communities, through our work with Esh Civils, who share a commitment to added value through their work.”
SSTC3 begins at the southern end of the Northern Spire and continues through the former Pallion Shipyard, underneath the Queen Alexandra Bridge, into Deptford Terrace and onto the city centre.
The scheme remains on track to be completed in Autumn 2021 with the next phase of work concentrating on the westbound area, between Hylton Roundabout and the former Simpson Street area.
The completion of the Eastbound carriageway and retaining wall at Trimdon Street is a huge milestone for the project. The logistics of working in close proximity to the retail park, surrounding residential whilst maintaining two-way traffic on this main route in and out of the city is a huge achievement for all involved.”