|Location Map ( geo)|
|A1018 • A183|
|Crossings related to the A183|
The Wearmouth Bridge crosses the River Wear in Sunderland and is, as its name suggests, the furthest downstream crossing before the river reaches the North Sea. It carries the A1018 and A183, which are in a multiplex with the former number dominant.
The original Wearmouth Bridge opened in 1796 and was, at the time, the largest single span iron bridge in the world. This bridge was heavily reconstructed by Robert Stephenson in the 1850s, keeping the original iron ribs but adding new arches between them and raising the abutments to remove the hump. Construction of the current bridge began in 1927, to a design by Mott, Hay and Anderson, and took place around the old bridge in order to allow the roadway to remain open. The bridge was completed in 1929 and was officially opened by the future King George VI.
Upon classification the Wearmouth Bridge was made part of the A19, which ran straight through the centre of Sunderland. Some time before the Second World War the A183 was extended north along the coast, which it reached by way of a multiplex across the bridge. When the A19 was re-routed onto the Sunderland bypass, the bridge - along with the entire route of the A19 through the city - was renumbered as the A1018, which itself now skirts around the city centre to the east.