It's an incredibly proud day for Sunderland as we've just opened our stunning new bridge across the River Wear, Northern Spire.
Yesterday it was open for people to walk across and today it's open to traffic.
Over the past few weeks, I've been as eager as anyone else to see the finishing touches and final checks completed and I'm delighted that this important piece of the city's transport and economic infrastructure is now ready for use.
It was a real joy and honour to be part of the opening ceremony this morning and to be able to drive over the bridge in Nissan cars built here in Sunderland.
The stunning design has taken shape day by day over the past three years and the bridge's creation has been an awe-inspiring feat of engineering.
Now it becomes more than an impressive physical landmark and begins its job making travel around the city quicker and easier for residents, commuters, businesses and visitors.
Huge thanks and congratulations go to absolutely everyone involved in making this long held ambition for Sunderland a reality - our own staff and elected members here at the council, our partners and contractors, the Government and of course our residents for their patience and support.
Northern Spire is officially open for business - enjoy!
Cllr Graeme Miller