River Wear, Sunderland

New Wear Crossing


The New Wear Crossing is the first new bridge to cross the River Wear in Sunderland in 45 years. It is a three span cable-stayed bridge with an A-frame pylon rising to 105 metres.

ByrneLooby was instructed to produce a Foundations Work Risk Assessment for the structure’s piled foundations and to get approval from the Environment Agency (EA) to install piles. The North Side structures sit atop the Permian Sands aquifer, which is considered by the EA to be highly vulnerable to contamination. ByrneLooby reported on the risk of creating a water path between the uppermost contaminated ground and the aquifer below and ensured the report satisfied the EA’s criteria.

Time constraints and quick delivery was a concern for the client so it was essential that the EA reports were created, delivered and approved in the quickest time frame possible. ByrneLooby addressed each of the EA’s concerns for every pile location individually and had ongoing discussions with the client, in order to obtain approval on time. This resulted in the works successfully being approved and ensuring the client could progress without delay.



“This was my first time assessing the risk of potential ground contamination and it proved to be a valuable learning experience. The project required me to carry out research to understand the potential contamination risks of concern to the Environmental Agency and to assess those that existed on this site. After working on this project and learning how to carry out a contamination assessment, I feel it has prepared me for similar issues if they were to arise on projects in the future.”

Pablo, Design Engineer


Project Photos