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New Wear Bridge Decision
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bridgemain.jpgKey decisions on Sunderland’s new bridge project are being made by city councillors next week.

The decisions are about the next steps for the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) project that includes submitting a planning application for a landmark bridge rising 180 metres (594ft) above the river Wear.

Members of the council’s Cabinet are examining a report looking at the economic benefits, public support, construction plans and financial costs for a landmark bridge design and its approach roads at the meeting on Wednesday, September 9.

The bridge is the centre-piece for this phase of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor and would cross the river from Castletown on the north side to Pallion on the south. Funds of £133 million can be made available.

Last year there was a major public consultation exercise across Sunderland that showed people were in favour of having a landmark bridge and building it could help further regeneration in the river corridor and city centre.

Subject to further funding decisions, the City Council would put £23 million towards the project.

Cllr Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “In consultation last year, people in Sunderland said they liked the idea of a landmark design and wanted to keep any impact on council tax bills to a minimum.

“The Cabinet agreed that more details on construction, design and maintenance costs should be completed.”

The landmark bridge’s striking design was first proposed by local architect Stephen Spence and structural engineers Techniker. Further detailed construction and maintenance plans have now been drawn up by Mr Spence and Techniker, reviewed by the council, and are part of the report to the cabinet.

Cllr Watson said: “All these details on why we should build a landmark bridge, how it can be built and how to pay for it are in the report that the City Council’s cabinet is looking at on Wednesday.”

The Cabinet meets at 2pm in Committee Room Number One and the meeting is open to the public.

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