VolkerStevin will build the US$43 million ‘smart bridge’, which will feature creative lighting and augmented reality, allowing people to use their smartphone to see virtual displays. Sunderland City Council said it will create "an experience that will really bring to life the city’s digital ambitions". 

River Wear smart bridge

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to have appointed our delivery partner, VolkerStevin, to move forward with this hugely significant infrastructure project that will further connect our city. And what’s more, to have secured a firm that will inject a huge sum into the local economy, as well as adding social value through a range of initiatives, means we’re making every pound we spend count, and the benefit of this project will be felt even during the construction phase of the project.”

The council applied for planning permission late last year and it was granted in March (link opens in new tab).

VolkerStevin managing director Jonathan Suckling said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract from Sunderland City Council, and are looking forward to working collaboratively with all parties during the early contractor involvement period, to ensure that Wear Bridge is delivered with certainty.”

The work to create the bridge will start in summer 2022, and the bridge is expected to open in summer 2024.