£31m Sunderland ‘smart’ bridge to go out to tender

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Plans to build a £31m ‘smart street bridge’ in Sunderland are set to move ahead as the transformation of the city’s riverside gathers pace.

The plan to build a high-level pedestrian and cycle bridge is expected to be approved by Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet next week, paving the way for the council to seek a design and build contractor.

Featuring augmented reality, the crossing will allow people to use their smartphones to see virtual displays, creating experiences that council bosses say will ‘bring the city’s digital ambitions to life.’

The bridge will be fitted with creative lighting to appear as a ‘shard of light’ in the evening, illuminating the green open spaces that flank the riverside below.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This street bridge represents a hugely significant piece of infrastructure that will bring together both sides of the river, something that is critical to our vision of creating a vibrant mixed-use community spanning the north and south of the Wear. ”

The new crossing, which is likely to get started next summer, includes a high parapet and balustrades for safety.  It will stand at a height that ensures that river-use will not be restricted and will boast stunning vistas across the river and out to sea.

Set to open in the first half of 2023, the crossing – which was warmly welcomed by Sunderland AFC players past and present when plans were revealed – will extend from the Keel Line, connecting to the banks of the Wear in the shadow of the Stadium of Light.

Papers submitted to Sunderland’s Cabinet show that the council’s ambition is to use Port of Sunderland to transport the new crossing in sections, transporting them up-river to construct the bridge.

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