The £35.6m contract was awarded earlier this year and with work compounds now in place the public will start to see large-scale clearance and ground works in coming weeks and months.
This is the third of five phases on the Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC 3) and sees the creation of a dual carriageway starting in Pallion which will run underneath the Queen Alexandra Bridge, into the city centre via Trimdon Street and incorporate a section of St Mary’s Boulevard.
The contract includes strategic utility upgrades and takes into account the land’s former use, geology and gradient which sees the construction of 2 kilometres of retaining structures.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “As a city, we cannot stand still. We have to develop, and we have to invest in our infrastructure. The dual carriageway here is a long-term investment project from the council that has received widespread support in the city, in the region, and from the strong business case that we put to ministers and the Department for Transport.
“Our city’s case was backed by the Government with a major allocation of funding. Now, working closely with our main contractor Esh Construction we are breaking new ground and once again improving our city’s connectivity.”
The contract will also deliver a comprehensive Social Value package which includes training and employment opportunities for local residents, support for local primary and secondary students, work experience placements for college and university students and a number of full-time jobs. Esh, who hold the Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity and Social Mobility, is committed to appointing a local supply chain and employing a local workforce.
Andy Radcliffe, Esh Group’s Chief Executive, added: “We look forward to building our Civils portfolio and maintaining our standing as one of the region’s leading contractors. The award represents a strong start to 2019 and is a key milestone in Esh’s growth plan.”
“Sunderland Council’s decision to procure via NEPO ensures Social Value will be created as a result of the ongoing works, benefiting the local community, not only during the project but long after its completion.”
We are extremely pleased to have been selected to construct the next phase of carriageway linking the Northern Spire Bridge and the city centre. We have a proven track record of infrastructure delivery across a range of sectors and have established a first-class team of professionals to work with our client and our local supply chain to deliver this project.”