Sunderland City Council is looking for interested engineering firms to work on its revived, but simplified, plan for a New Wear Crossing – original plans for a £118M version of which were scrapped in July last year.
The council said today it was seeking interested engineering and contracting firms to build a cable-stayed structure across the River Wear between Castletown and Pallion, which will have two lanes of traffic in both directions and dedicated cycleways and footpaths.
It has released a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) as part of the next stage of the tendering and contract process and said it aimed to secure a contract by summer 2015.
Council bosses last summer agreed to go back to the drawing board after the two bids returned to build the bridge both came in well over the £118M budget. The original design resulted from a design competition and would have seen two slender, curving towers up to 187m tall supporting the 336m long deck.
The government has re-committed its earlier promised £82.5M toward the bridge.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “The new bridge will bring Sunderland the growth and infrastructure benefits of the initial design, by reducing congestion, improving connectivity and unlocking brownfield land with its potential to increase growth, jobs and investment.
“Our regeneration plans are focusing on a new bridge, linking the strategic transport corridor from the Port of Sunderland, through the city centre, past our key riverside regeneration sites and out to the A19.
“Issuing the PQQ to the market is the next step towards delivering a new bridge or Sunderland. We are confident that the project is moving forward and the next stage is a period of dialogue. We plan to appoint a delivery partner in spring 2015.”
- What are your thoughts on the council’s plan to revive the structure as a simplified scheme? How much is too much money for such a structure? Tell us your thoughts below…