The official name of the new bridge in Sunderland has been revealed as Northern Spire. Photo: TOM BANKS
On track to open in spring 2018, the Northern Spire bridge with its gleaming white A-frame focal point, is a vital new transport link that is key to regeneration plans.
In a poll organised by Sunderland City Council, a selected panel of judges were given the task of coming up with a shortlist of three names to put to a public vote. The shortlisted names had to reflect the city's rich heritage and also speak out to its vision and aspirations for the future.
More than 10,000 votes were cast, with Northern Spire receiving almost half of the votes. The other names were suggested were Lumen Point and The Prism.
Sunderland City Council's deputy leader, Councillor Harry Trueman said: "This impressive structure is ambitious, striking and indicative of the future plans of the city and I think the new name fits it perfectly."
The panel felt that 'Northern' was reflective of the regional significance of the bridge, beyond the city and that the definition of 'Spire' (a cone or pyramid-like structure/the highest point of something) was a good fit for the 105m tall pinnacle of the new bridge, as it reaches for the skies! Northern Spire also reflects Sunderland's rich educational and industrial heritage which began with its oldest church, St Peter's which was built in the 7th Century and housed the first stained glass
The new bridge across the Wear is one of three major estuary crossing projects under construction in 2017 in the UK with Ramboll involvement. The others are The Queensferry Crossing and The Mersey Gateway.
With its gleaming white A-frame focal point, the iconic Northern Spire cable stay bridge improves critical transport capacity, allows for expansion of the Port and provides access to key development sites along the river. Ramboll was appointed to carry out Category 3 checking of the permanent works.