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Sunderland to push ahead with controversial bridge

Sunderland City Council’s engineers are carrying out a traffic flow survey this month that will help highway design work for the new Wear bridge. It will also help efforts to secure funding.

A new traffic model is one of the conditions for a final acceptance by the government for the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor and new Wear bridge project. The government backed the business case for the project in June last year by pledging £98M and the council has agreed to carry out further development work on original plans for a landmark design.

The bridge is a key part of the multi-million pound Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) with its new route into central Sunderland from the A19. Subject to final agreements, construction work on the bridge and its approaches could begin in April 2012 and be completed in May 2014.

While work on traffic flows can be done by electronic monitoring, information on where journeys start and finish will be gathered by driver roadside interviews.

“Traffic flow information is non-intrusive but information on movements, such as where a driver’s journey started and where it is due to finish, can only be made in a face-to-face interview at the roadside,” said Sunderland City Council’s Director of Development and Regeneration Phil Barrett.

The traffic model is being prepared by Jacobs Consultants which produced the Tyne & Wear Transport Planning Model. The consutlant’s appointment was agreed by Sunderland City Council’s cabinet in April.

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