New Sunderland Bridge Is On It’s Way!
TENDERS are being finalised for Sunderland’s New Wear Crossing project.
The 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 favourable planning inspector’s report recommending approval of all of the required statutory orders has now been signed-off by the Secretary of State. The City Council is now moving to the next stage of the tendering process.
Following a pre-qualification exercise, four construction firms have been short-listed to be invited to tender for the project contract. These tender documents are set to be issued this month.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is the biggest civil engineering project in the North East and will sustain several hundred jobs across the city and region. It will now take several months to complete the tendering process. “In the long-run it is estimated, and this was a key element of the bid to Government, that it could help to create up to six thousand jobs across the city.”
By improving links from the A19 to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland, the project opens up new areas of development land along the south of the river. This will increase regeneration opportunities for both businesses and residents.
Councillor James Blackburn, the council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “The New Wear Crossing is a major civil engineering project. Work on the tenders and contract documentation reflects the scale and complexity of its planned construction. “It is a project that can bring considerable economic and social benefits to the city and our region.” The project is in line with the city’s Economic Masterplan.
As part of its submission to the Government, the council outlined how the project can deliver measurable public value and a return on investment at a ratio of £4 for every £1 invested. This is all in addition to creating a new symbol for the region, which will raise Sunderland’s regional, national and international profile still further.
The project had been costed at approximately £133m. As part of the council’s 2011 funding bid – known as the Best And Final 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 around three years to complete.