Tanners Bank, North Shields

As part of plans to improve transportation and road links on Tanners Bank Bridge, Taziker carried out major works to demolish the existing bridge structure and complete the design, fabrication, assembly, and installation of a brand-new bridge.

The historic structure, which is said to be the world’s first ever commuter line, serves one of the busiest network routes between North Tyneside and Newcastle. Tanners Bank Bridge is also a key access route to the Northumberland Shore.

The Challenge

The Victorian bridge at Tanners Bank required replacing as it had come to the end of its asset life, with the timber deck significantly rotted.  The client, Nexus, commissioned Taziker to carry out the work to ensure they continue to provide a good service to their customers with minimal maintenance interventions in the future.

Additionally, the existing bridge had low headroom, so a new design was engineered to allow higher vehicles passage under the structure.

Taziker’s scope of work included demolition of the existing structure; fabrication, assembly and installation of new bridge; as well as scaffolding, track work and steelwork repairs.

Prior to the commencement of works, an extensive ecology report was carried out. The report recommended that any vegetation clearance required should be completed out with the nesting bird season (March – September). Bats and red squirrels were known to reside in the area, as well as feral pigeons on the underbridge. During the de-vegetation process, we made regular checks to ensure the safety of the animals. 

Several services and isolation points were identified in a topography survey as being affected by our works. Services buried under the road remained live throughout the project duration and steps were taken to ensure no damage occurred to the existing buried services.  To achieve this, suitable crane pads were constructed on site, which reduced the ground bearing pressure applied on these services.

The Solution

This self-delivered project involved the dismantling, removal and disposal of the existing bridge structure to allow for the installation of a new bridge. To do this, we removed the existing P-Way, excavated all materials to expose the abutment walls, saw cut both abutments and wingwalls, removed the timber deck and finally, removed and disposed the remaining bridge structure.

As part of the installation, the bridge received new precast concrete abutment sleeper units with precast cill beams. The bridge deck was designed and fabricated using Taziker’s in-house specialist steel fabrication facilities in Heywood, before being transported to North Shields. The bridge deck, which comprises of two U-deck components, was secured into position using bridge plates before being fitted with a waterproof membrane. Once the bridge was assembled, a deck drainage system was installed to prevent any water egress to the structure.

The Result

Through this work, the new bridge now provides more sustainable travel and improved service access for local businesses, as well as providing benefits to Nexus passengers.

The increased headroom means that larger vehicles such as double decker buses and heavy goods vehicles can pass down Tanners Bank. This increases the connectivity between North Shields town centre and the Fish Quay, which is the main aim of North Tyneside’s regeneration scheme.

With the new design, Metro passengers benefit from the bridge replacement as there’s fewer maintenance interventions due to less chance of bridge strikes.

Additionally, the original makers plate were saved and sent to the Stevenson Steam Railway Museum to go on display to ensure that a piece of history from the original structure was retained.

We found Taziker to be a collaborative, knowledgeable, safety conscious contractor. Every project has its challenges, and we found that Taziker as well as their subcontractors, broached those challenges with a can-do attitude and I think they really understood the importance of this scheme to Nexus.


October 2021 – August 2022

The scope of the works included:

  • Site investigation surveys
  • Traffic management
  • Erection of a track access scaffold
  • Installation of abutment ground anchors 
  • Isolation and slew of OLE element and installation of bonding
  • Removal and reinstallation of new track elements
  • Demolition of redundant bridge deck
  • Removal of existing abutments and wingwalls and instatement of new precast cill beam
  • Design, fabrication, assembly and installation of bridge U-deck and bearings
  • Steelwork repairs
  • Installation of abutment ground anchors 
  • Drainage works 
  • Excavations and backfill

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