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Esh Construction completes flagship £42.5m infrastructure project in Sunderland

Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase 3 opens as Esh marks largest contract in its history

Esh Construction has marked the completion of its largest project in company history with Phase 3 of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC3) now officially open.

The 2.4km dual carriageway was unveiled in an opening ceremony held yesterday, Wednesday, November 3. Esh Chief Executive and Executive Director, Andy Radcliffe and Stephen Wilkie, along with SSTC3 Project Director, Steve Garrigan, joined the Leader of Sunderland City Council Cllr Graeme Miller on site to cut a ceremonial ribbon and watch the first vehicles travel the brand-new route, which links the Northern Spire bridge to the city centre.

The new road has been delivered by Esh Construction on behalf of Sunderland City Council. It forms part of the £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.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "The SSTC3 project is an important one for Sunderland, and a key infrastructure investment for the council, providing access to Sunderland City Centre for our communities and aiding community wealth.

"I am delighted to see it completed today and our plans for the future of the city take another step forward."

Esh's Chief Executive, Andy Radcliffe, said: "SSTC3 is the largest scheme Esh has delivered in company history and, in doing so, we have employed a local workforce and procured a local supply chain, achieving a magnificent £26m spend within the local area and a 98% North East workforce.

"Collaboration has been key to this projects success from the outset. The impact of a global pandemic and material shortages could never have been predicted, yet the determination to overcome every challenge has been remarkable and a huge testament to everyone involved. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved in the delivery of this project and look forward to continuing this success into all future projects with Sunderland City Council."

The project itself was carried out to maximise opportunities for local companies and jobs through the supply chain to keep money in the city's economy. The overall project saw £26 million re-invested locally and the creation of 32 jobs, 19 of which were long-term unemployed people.

More than half of the workforce were Sunderland residents, including Esh Construction Project Director, Steve Garrigan, who has been at the helm since the first day back in 2019, overseeing a staggering 750,000 hours worked on site. He said: “Challenging schemes of this nature and magnitude don’t come along often. I am proud to have led the delivery of Esh’s flagship project alongside a local workforce and local supply chain.

“Completing any contract to a deadline is always the hardest part of any project. The last six months have been challenging, juggling the pandemic and material shortages – and the knock-on effect of both to the supply chain – has required exceptional efforts from everyone involved from the project team in order to achieve completion. I extremely proud on behalf of everyone involved.”

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.

Over 1.6km of work was completed offline, including the installation of four large retaining wall structures to create space for the highway between the shipyard and the upper existing highway and the Tyne and Wear Metro line. The new carriageway lies 12m below Pallion New Road and 8m above the Lower Pallion engineering works.

To find out more about Esh Construction, visit www.eshgroup.co.uk

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