Connectivity to the Stadium of Light will be improved by the bridge. Credit: planning documents

VolkerStevin close to start on £31m Sunderland footbridge

Site preparation has been taking place following the completion of the contractor’s deal with the city council.

Following the award of a pre-construction services agreement in October 2021 for the new pedestrian and cycle crossing of the Wear, VolkerStevin, which is responsible for design and delivery, has been working with Sunderland City Council to fine-tune delivery plans.

The bridge is a critical part of the Riverside Sunderland masterplan, linking the city centre to the Sheepfolds.

The new footbridge is 10m wide, 30m high and over 250m long, comprising reinforced concrete piers, steel box girder superstructure and a precast concrete deck. Other features include steel parapets, lighting, street furniture and various architectural features. The bridge will also integrate technology to create interactive experiences for those who cross it.

Professional advisors on the job include DPP Planning, Atkins, DWS, NJD and MWA. Plans for the bridge were originally unveiled in 2019, with outline planning consent granted in 2021.

Social value commitments include a community fund to support projects that improve the cultural, heritage, educational, environmental, energy and health opportunities of local residents, as well as a commitment for local employment on the project.

Ian Cussons, VolkerStevin operations director said: “We are delighted to get started on site and to be working collaboratively with Sunderland City Council, to deliver this significant infrastructure project for the city and community. We have a great team in place who are pleased to be involved in the contribution to the economic growth of the city.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “I think I speak for everyone connected with the city when I say how fantastic it is to see work finally get underway on this landmark project.

“The construction of the new footbridge will literally and figuratively bridge the gap between the city centre and the Sheepfolds, expanding its footprint and paving the way for more new homes, workspaces and amenities.

“Working alongside VolkerStevin on the project, it will also create jobs and opportunities for people and businesses in the area, with numerous local contractors procured to deliver it, bringing major benefits long before it’s complete.”

Law firm Ward Hadaway advised on the contract. Partner Alan Ross said: “This is a fantastic infrastructure project for the City and demonstrates the Council’s strategic commitment to the Riverside Sunderland regeneration and the transformation of Sunderland as a whole.”

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