How the new £118m Sunderland bridge might look

CGI  of New Bridge Plan - River Wear
CGI of New Bridge Plan - River Wear
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COUNCIL bosses have unveiled a first hint of how the new bridge across the Wear could look.

Engineering drawings showing the shape of the main mast supporting the cable stays, the positioning of the bridge in the river and the location of the supports either side of the Wear, have been submitted in an application to vary existing planning permission first granted in 2010.

The council said the images are intended to give an impression of what form the structure would take, and did not necessarily reflect how it would actually look.

Technical details of the tower and the bridge deck will be available once a contractor has been appointed to design and build it.

The council is expecting submissions from contractors in coming weeks, with the aim of appointing a firm by summer 2015.

The latest move comes after the Government confirmed £82.5million of funding has been ringfenced for the project as part of the Sunderland City Deal.

The bridge, which will span between Castletown and Pallion, will have two lanes of traffic in each direction, as well as dedicated cycleways and footpaths.

The new design will replace the “iconic” bridge designed by North East-born architect Stephen Spence, which was scrapped last year, after the council was unable to find a contractor willing to commit to the £118million budget.

Council leader Coun Paul Watson defended the decision to go back to the drawing board, rather than seek additional funds during a tough economic climate, but said the bridge will help the city’s long-term growth.