new wear crossing
Rebecca Wayman

Jarrow construction firm part of Sunderland's Northern Spire bridge build

Wescott Coatings, in Jarrow, has helped form part of Sunderland’s new Northern Spire bridge project.

It carried out maintenance work on one of the main vessels used during construction. The business also prepared and repainted the barge, Claude Monique, owned by Farrans Construction.

Originally constructed in the 1960s, 45m-long Claude Monique is said to weigh around 514 tonnes, equipped with two 20m hydraulic spud legs and four remote-operated anchor positioning winches, enabling the vessel to keep on station during lifting/piling operations.

Tom Whittleton, Wescott Coating’s business development director, commented: “Although [most] of our work is on offshore wind farms, commercial buildings and transport infrastructure, we have been working in a number of dockyards and fabrication yards on military ships, commercial vessels, barges and submarines.”

The barge is based on large ballast tanks, which were blasted clear and then recoated by a team from Wescott Coatings during a five-week contract maintaining the barge.

Whittleton continued: “We had to coordinate with the barge team to ensure safe and efficient working was achieved, but completed our work on schedule and look forward to completing the remaining tanks early next year in the second phase of the project.”

Ryan Dillon, Farrans Construction’s section engineer, who managed the onsite project, added: “The Claude Monique is a key company vessel, and the work completed by the Wescott team is vital in prolonging its lifespan and maintaining such a valuable asset.”

The Northern Spire is the first bridge to be built across the River Wear in Sunderland for 40 years. Work began in May 2015 and the bridge is on track to be complete during Spring 2018.

Established in 2010, Wescott Coatings works primarily in the offshore, marine, transport infrastructure and industrial facilities sectors, with an annual turnover of over £5m and around 50 full-time managerial, supervisory and multi-discipline employees.

The company has its own training subsidiary at Jarrow, providing rope access and safety training and, as of December 31 2017.

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