25 October 2012
Tender documents for the New Wear Crossing project are being finalised by Sunderland City Council in north east England and are due to be issued this month.
The British government announced in December last year that it was prepared to put more than £80m towards the project for the new landmark bridge and its approach roads. A planning inspector's report recommending approval of all of the required statutory orders has now been signed-off by the secretary of state, enabling the council to move to the next stage of the tendering process.
Following a pre-qualification exercise, four construction firms have already been shortlisted to be invited to tender for the contract.
The project had been costed at approximately £133m. As part of the council's 2011 funding bid there were revised estimates that reduced costs by more than £16m.
The City Council hopes to complete the tendering processes in the next six months. Construction could start in the spring of 2013 and take about three years to complete.
The design was finally revealed in 2008, three years after it was chosen. The winning concept is by by architect Spence Associates and structural engineer Techniker. The structure has two asymmetrical, curved 'bull horns' which are intended to act as towers supporting the cable-stayed deck. They are 140m and 190m tall.