New road bridge confirmed for River Wear

Wearmouth Bridge

A decision will be made this week on who could build a major new road bridge across the River Wear.

The EU Official Journal published a contract for the design and construction of the bridge in May last year. This invited civil engineering and construction companies to tender.

These steps began when the Government confirmed last March that up to £82.5m of Department of Transport funding is set aside for the project. This funding is part of the Sunderland City Deal in Partnership with South Tyneside.

The bridge is to be cable-stayed and cross the River Wear between Castletown on the north side to Pallion on the south. It will have two lanes of traffic in both directions and dedicated cycleways and footpaths along its full length.

Works are anticipated to start by summer 2015. The River Wear bridge will bring opportunities for young people, regeneration and improvements to the city itself.

Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The new bridge is all about bringing further regeneration, bringing improvements to the city’s infrastructure, and bringing more opportunities for more economic growth.

“We are going to be unlocking access to more land for regeneration and improving transport connections across the city. These in turn are going to create jobs and attract further investment into the city.

“The new bridge and its approach roads are linking the strategic transport corridor from the Port of Sunderland, through the city centre, past our key riverside regeneration sites and out to the A19.

“Next week we expect to finalise the appointment of our main works design and build contractor.

“Our decision is then subject to a final approval from the Government.”

The report to the Cabinet includes details of the quality evaluation which makes up 30 per cent of the bid.

This quality evaluation outlines how there should be recruitment opportunities for young people, apprenticeships, and for people who may have been unemployed for six months or more.

And, promoting the local supply chain so that small and medium-sized companies can benefit from the works.

The three bidders that submitted final tenders are: FCC Construction S.A.,  a joint venture between Northstone (NI) Ltd (‘Farrans’) and Victor Buyck Steel Construction N.V. and a joint venture between Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd and Dragados SA.#####

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