Arup will lead the team, which will work closely with contractor VolkerStevin. The other design team members are specialist bridge architect Knight Architects and local landscape architect Colour. VolkerStevin was appointed in September 2021.

The project is a central part of Sunderland’s new Riverside Park and will connect Sheepfolds and the city centre as part of the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan.

The overall vision for the project has been outlined by client Sunderland City Council. The new footbridge is described as having a simple aesthetic to enhance the riverside development, complementing other crossings.  It will include creative lighting, illuminating the green spaces that flank the riverside below. 

Wear footbridge

Arup said that it will use digital 3D models to develop the design and consider its integration with surrounding areas, as well as ensuring sustainability is at the heart of the development. This will include minimising the bridge’s carbon impact and reducing any impacts on the biodiversity of the river environment both during construction and throughout the lifetime of the bridge.

Wear footbridge

Arup project manager Rachel Hurdman said: "This is an important project for the local area and an exemplar of sustainable, people-focused design. Our design and engineering experts will be leading the design process with cutting-edge design and engineering to provide a new strategic link for the people of Sunderland.”